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■ I. ■ ■ Bllli ■ >^^ -^ 






■ Jfl^^ viz' /2^^ 







"■Xp^oTie^iimf. Euaeb. Demonst. Evangel, VIII. i. 




I . 




. »-^ J ..» 









&C. &C. &C. 








OF HIS grace's 






'- " - *, 





Though the volume, which is now submitted to the 
public contains a subject, independent and perfect in 
itself; the ultimate object of the author requires it to be 
stated, that in it the foundation is laid of a work, of 
considerable extent. Should the final purpose be ac- 
complished, which the present volume contributes but 
partially to establish, and the plan of the author receive 
a perfect development ; he is sanguine enough to 
hope, that his work will not be found undeserving of 
the title under which he purposes the detached parts 
of it should be combined: — "The divine Vocation 
OF Aba;^ham d&iwnstrated, from the Expeetuti&m 
formed by all nations, that a Great Deuivbr^r" 
would appear about the time of our Lord's advent." 

As an explanation of the views and objects of the 
author, the sources of his information, and the modes 
of his investigation, cannot be effected without entering 
fully into details ; he is obliged to defer the underta- 
king to the appearance of a Preliminary Dissertation, 
by which he purposes his work shall be preceded. Of 
the feasibility of his plan a perfect estimate may be 
formed, from the experiment which is made in the vo- 
lume, now submitted to the public ; the remote antiqui- 
ty of the period to which his researches were confined, 
and the paucity of the materials, which are supplied by 
history or tradition, haying thrown obstacles in the 
way of inquiry, which must proportionably disappear. 


■ ■ ■■» f MX I II^^IB «■!■ .^ > _- J^- I ■ I t^ 11 ^M— JMIMl 


as the subject is deduced from times, more recent and 
more perfectly known. 

It is necessary to add, that the subject of thb 
Divine Vocation op Abraham, has been treated 
in a general and succinct form, in a Course of Lec- 
tures, delivered by the author on the foundation of 
the Honble. Rob. Boyle. In one of those discourses, 
the argument, deduced from prophecy, in the volume 
now submitted to the public, was originally produced. 
Since that time, the author having noted down, in the 
course of his reading, which has been various and ex- 
tensive, whatever appeared to bear upon his subject ; 
the leisure and retirement which he has long enjoyed, 
have enabled him to work it up in its present form, in 
which the formality of the discourse is abandoned for a 
more free mode of discussion. 

S"loTri82«. FRED. NOLAN. 






..J T, — T^'^--^^^ r.-jT-.-.^^-^ , 







In so imperfect a state have the records of the 
four Great Empires, which successively attained 
the dominion of the civilized world, descended Xx> 
our times ; that it can be no matter of surprise, 
the history of the Assyrians should be irrecover- 
ably involved in such obscurity, as to render it diffi- 
cult to ascertain even the extent of their empire. 
If indeed the magnitude of tlieir dominions may be 
estimated, by the wide diffusion of their name ; 
their territory must have been nearly commensu- 
rate with thB whole of civilized Asia. The inha- 
bitants of that vast tract of country, which extends 
from the eastern coasts of the Mediterranean sea 
to the remotest boundaries of Persia, were known, 
atleast to the Europeans, under the name of As- 
syrians/ . Nor does it consist with reason or in- 
quiry, however supported by great authority,* to 
suppose, that the name taken in the utmost latitude 

^ The learned Selden admits, that '^ whatever of the Asiatic 
regions exists, from the Sidonian sea to the seat of empire, was 
called, by the Europeans, Assyria, and the inhabitants, 
Assyrians." De Dis Syr. Prolegom. cap. i. p. 4. 

* Seld. ibid. p. 4. 



'.\i>. ..-. 


of its application, was vaguely and indefinitely 
applied ; in that ignorance of the eastern regions 
and their inhabitants, which is generally imputed 
to the western nations. However it may be doubt- 
edi, that the proper Assyrians had spread themselves 
through a tract so extended and populous ; autho- 
rity, which is second only to direct historical tes- 
timony, as founded on records once open to re- 
search, may be cited to prove, that the Assyrian 
Empire ought not to be contracted within much 
narrower limits.^ The extent of the dominions of 
this antient monarchy being once admitted, every 
objection to the latitude ascribed to their name 
directly vanishes. The nations which once sub- 
mitted to the arms, or acknowledged the authority 
of the Assyrians, as forming a part of their domi- 
liions, were legitimately included, under one com- 
mon appellation, with the dominant power. 
* In undertaking to inquire into the opinions of 
the native Assyrians, on a point of religious belief, 
I would be understood to take the name in the 
utmost latitude of its meaning. It is not requi- 
site to the purposes of this inquiry, to prove this 
people derived from a common original. Though 
no reasonable doubt can be entertained of their 

^ 111 the wreck of Asiatic and Assyrian history, compiled by 
the Greeks, from the indifferent materials with which they were 
supplied by the Orientalists, it is not easy to furnish positive 
testimony, as to the extent of the Assyrian Empire. A writer, 
who had access to sources which can be no longer explored, 
while he expressly refers to the Barbarian histories, ascribes 
their dominion an extent, reaching eastward, from the Ionian ' 
and ^gean seas, and southward, from the Propontis and Ga9- 
pian seas, to the Indian Ocean; assigning them an empire which 
reached from Tyre to the Tigris ; from the mountains of Judea, 
tp. those of Media and Persia. S. Hleron. in Abd, cap, i. et in 
Mich. cap. vil. Tom. V. p. 130. d. 1^. b. 



-• a. '..tA> ^._._ 


descent from the same progenitor ;* it is only ne- 
cessary to my purpose to sh,ew, that they possessed 
a common language and religion : and as far as the 
establishment of this point involves a proof of their 
lineage, it very fully attests their descent from the 
same ancestors. The dialects which are still par- 
tially spoken throygh the v?ist tract of country that 
constituted the Assyrian empire, and of the anti- 
quity of which monuments still exist in works of 
unimpeachable authenticity, differ from each othey 
but in those accidental peculiarities which distin- 
guish the derivatives of every parent language. 
The uniformity which is acknowledged to have ex- 
isted in their language,^ is admitted to have pre- 

^ By the learned writer, quoted in the last note, who was i. 
equally versed in European and Asiatic, in sacred and profane // 
literature, the descent of those nations who inhabited the tract 
between the Mediterranean Sea, and the remote borders of 
Persia,* is traced from the patriarch Shem : Yid. infr. p. 9. 
n.i7. On this subject, may be consulted, after Josephus and 
£piphanius,who were not unskilled in the language and learning 
of both condnents, the learned Bochart, in his *' Geographia 
Sacra/' Even from those writers who profess to draw their 
inferences, not firom historical records, but from physical and 
philological principles, the deductions derived from the sacred 
annals receive the fullest confirmation. The reader will see ^ *j 
their arguments succinctly stated by Fessler, Introd. in Ling, 
Orient. Sect. viii. 

^ Selden admits, that ^* tlie inhabitants of the entire tract, to 
which the name of Assyria, or Syria, in its greatest latitvde, 
was applied, namely, me BahyUndans, Assyriansy Ckaldeansy 
Arameans, or those who had settlements in Mesopotamia, as 
well as the Phanicians, Palestinians, Canaanites, and even, in 
the conterminous countries, the Arabians and Persians, spoke 
one language,^' which he rather gratuitously asserts to have been 
the Hebrew : De Dis Syr. ibid. cap. ii. p. 10* The genealogy 
of the different dialects spoken in those countries is accurately 
given in Fessler, ubi supr. p. 16. and deduced from the 
Assyrian. With respect to the Persian, it must be observed, 
that the preceding observations are properly applicable to the 
Fehlvi, or Pablavi, which bears the most striking affinity to the 

B 2 



vailed in their religion.^ After the Assyrian do- 
minions had attained their fullest extent, and the 
monarchy had arrived at maturity, the natives ac- 
knowledged one object of religious worship, whom 
they termed Bel or Baal '? under which title it is 
not to be supposed, they meant the Supreme 
Being,® but one of their deified ancestors.^ 

As a subject intimately connected with the ob- 
ject of our inquiry, and which conveys some proof 
of the fidelity with which this people retained their 
paternal traditions, the accounts which they have 
transmitted of the Deluge particularly commend 
themselves to our notice. In the few fragments of 
the history of the nations bearing the Assyrian 
name, which have descended to our times,^** none 

Chaldee, and other dialects of the Semitic ; as the reader may 
be convinced, who inspects the Yocabulary published by M. 
Anquetil du Perron, in his translation of the Zendavesta 
Tom. II. 

^ Stanley, noticing the vicinity and direct communication 
between the nations bordering on Arabia, observes that " this 
vicinity created so close an intercourse between the neighbouring 
*" hatiohs, that the Chaldee discipline, thus propagated through 
Mesopotamia i Assyria and Syria, thence passed to the Persians, 
and so«reached t^e Arabians." Hist. Philos. Orient. Lib. III. 
Procem. p. 301. ed. Cleric. He remarlis, in continuation, that 
the vicinity not merely of situation, but affinity in religion and 
opinions was so close* that it imposed upon Pliny, who con- 
founds those different nations with one another. 

7 Vid. ^Id, ubi supr. Syntag. II. cap. i. Voss. de Idolatr. 
Lib. I. cap. xxiv." ' 

8 Seld. ubi supr. p. 229. 9 Voss. ubi supr. p. 93. 
I *o Abydenus, Berosus, Nicholas Damascenus, Hieronymus 

^*^ ^ ( jEgyptius, Alexander Polyhistor, &c. have given particular 

J accounts of the deluge, which have been preserved by Josephus, 
iEusebius, Cyril of Alexandria, and may be seen collected in 
Y^'Ak. I Bochart, Geogr. Sacr. Lib. I. cap iii. The testimony of these 
") writers is rendered additionally important, from the considera- 
/ tion of their having jSeen born or naturalized in the countries of 
Vwhich they compiled particular histories. The history of As- 



equal, in importance and^i^^tgrest, the accounts 
which have been transmitte& oTlhat great ccflivul- 
sion of nature, the survivors of which settled on 
the borders of the country, which became the seat 
of the Assyrian dominion. The records of the 
Hebrews, who, as Chaldees by descent, were a 
branch of the Assyrian stock, contain the most 
consistent and circumstantial description of that 
great catastrophe. Differences are indeed observed 
to exist between their accounts and the details of the 
native Assyrians ;" but as they are of a trivial na- 
ture, they detract nothing from the weight of their 
jijganspiring testimony, while they tend to prove, 
»//that it has not been copied from a common original. 
Thus, while the Assyrians differ from the Hebrews, 
in tlie nameof the personage who escaped the fury 
of the element in which the world perished ; they 
perfectly coincide wdth them, in detailing the mode 
and circumstances of his preservation. They mu- 
tually represent him as having been enclosed in 
an Ark, which settled on a mountain near the con- 
fines of the Assyrian Empire. The coincidence in 

Syria was written by Abydenus, whose country is not known ; \ 
that of Chaldea by Berosus, a Babylonian, and prie^ of Bel j 
or Baal. Nicholas Damascenus treated of the affidrs of Syria, \ 
and was a native of its capital, Damascus ; and Hieronymus s 
^gyptius compiled the history of Phamida, of which province \ 
and Syria he was governor, under Antiochus Soter. Besides j 
the accounts of the deluge preserved by. ^ese historians, by f 
Mnaseas and Alexander Polyhistor, who in his general history \ 
treated particularly of Syria ; Lucian of Samosata has given / 
a circumstantial account of that great catastrophe, in his tract - 
" on the Syrian Goddess," at the commencement of which he j 
styles himself an Assyrian. In a word, Josephus has sum-!- i 
marily observed, that ''of the deluge and ark, all who have | 
written Barbaric histories have made mention ;*' Antiq. Jud. ( 
Lib. I. cap. iv. 

1* Via. Joseph, ubi supr. et Beros et Abyden. fragment. V 
apud Euseb. Prsep. £v. Lib., IX. cap. xi. xii. 

i^^: *# /t / /a, ^ /t 


'<»'r». i ■^ * % * . I * * 


their respective narratives extends even to minute 
circumstances; as they respectively relate, that 
birds were liberated from the drifted vessel, for the 
purpose of ascertaining how far the flood had 
^ ^ In one respect the ethnic accounts are possessed 
^ : w / of an interest, of which the sacred narrative is des- 
titute. They enable us to ascertain the place where 
the Ark rested, when the deluge had decreased ; and 
assure us, that some remains of it were preserved, 
to a late period, (m one of the mountains of Armenia, 
where, mey agree in stating, it finally settled. 
I The Ghaldee historian, Berosus, to whose authority 
[ implicit credit seems due, on a subject relating to 
Ghaldee traditions, » specifies the Cqrdyaea n moun- 
tains ; which range to tiie north east df Ml^^opbtamia, 
and consequently agree in situation with 'the Ararat 
of Scripture, which is placed to the east of Shinar. 
; And in this statement he is fully borne out by the 
i Chaidee paraphrast of the Hebrew accounts, who 
renders Ararat by the term Cardu, which ap-^ 
proaches as nearly as the idiom ofthe Ghaldee will 
, admit to the term used in the Greek text, by 
Berosus. As, in his account, the historian de- 
scends to particulars which prove> that in his times 
all curiosity, respecting the place where the remains 
of the Ark existed, was not wholly extinct : when 
; we consider the opportunities which he possessed, 
I of obtaining the best information on the subject, it 
I seems to render his testimony definitive, in decide 
^ ing the question. He mentions it, as tiie current 
I belief, that ^" a part of the Ark still remained on thfe 
; Cordysean mountains, from which the bitumen was 
brought away, and worn as an amulet. " 


^^ Ben>s.apud Joseph. etEuMbuubisufHr. n.^^ AsytrM Sfs >^ r5 


' When the source from which this testimony is 
derived is duly estim^ited, little attention will be 
due to the conjectures of some modern inquirers 
into the subject, who, misled by vague etymologi- 
cal similarities, follow a comparatively late writer,^* 

^' This opinipn, which was first advanced by St» Jerome^ 
seems to have obtained ccedit from the equivocal meaning^ oC 
the term Armenia ; where it is universally agreed the ark rested> 
after the deluge. It is conceived likewise to derive support 
from a silly etymological affinity between the term Armenia 
and Hot Mihni which we . are told means Tiunmt Minniy an 
opinion which is' grafted on the account. t>f- JS^icbolfbs Damas*- 
cenuSy ap. Joseph, et EuSeb. ubi supr. 'Erti^ vv\p ri* Mtvvaia, 

tm tS netraxXva'fAS, ^o7o; f%s( wtpiQei^Tifau In these words, some 
learned inquirers have discovered '* the. kiffh maanUim Bans,' 
in the province of Minyas, in Armenia,'* See Ant^ IJhiv. Hk-, 
tory. B. I. ch. i. Vol. I. p. 322. But as the word Bans isin- 
terpreted by the antients — an ark, and as^ according to the re- 
presentation of the Syriac historian,' ^accounts have represented' 
some as having been saved' in the deluge, by entering into it,''^' 
and not by flying to a mountain ; it seems to have been tite) 
author's intention to express a very dilflferent meaning from that, 
ascribed to him, in this passage; which was extracted by 
persons, who were most probably unacquainted with the niean-' 
ing of the oriental term, and accordingly mistook it for the nune 
of a mountain. In a sentence which is proved, by its false ot^ 
imperfect sense, to be garbled and disjointed* I am inclined U>> 
believe, that wmTov, which Berosus applies to the ark, has slipped 
out of tiie text, or that it has been supplanted by voXX&(, which 
manifestly introduces a wrong sense into the passage. It is at 
least obvicMis, that, in the preiceding attempt to sfipers^de the* 
Ohaldee traditions, by etvmology and conjectiii^, the term . 
Armenia is taken in a merely modem sense ; tiiat it was to Syria ^ 
and Mesopotamia, which is overlooked by the Gordysean 
mountains, the Orientalist gave tibe name of Aram ; and that 
the Greeks, through whose corrupted orthography we receive 
the term Armema, have acknowledged the wora to be synony- 
nious with Syria. Vid. Seld* ubi supr. Prolegom. p. 2. In 
support of the latter assertion, we may quote Iha authority of 
Strabo, who observes in his first book, T»f ya^vf'viJkSr'Lv^ei' 
x.»9iafMWq vv avrSiv' rS* Tvpvf *ApfAtfini X; 'AfetfAaiai Ka\t7o-Srai, 

Wben the word is taken in tins sense, it at once identifies the 


in identifying the Ararat of Scripture with a moun- 
tain of modern Armenia, nearly three hundred miles 
to the north of the site ascribed to it in the Chaldee 
traditions. As a counterpoise to the authority of 
this writer, I shall set off the testimony of one of his 
contemporaries, whose means of information were 
perhaps equal, if not superior, as he was bom of 
Jewish parents, and possessed some knowledge of 
at least one of the oriental dialects, and as he visited 
the East, through motives of pious curiosity. " Af- 
ter the deluge, " he declares, " Noah's Ark, having 
settled in the mountains of Ararat, between the 
Armenians and Cordyaeans, rested on a mountain 

called Lubar.".^* " Even to our own times, " he 

elsewhere observes, " the remains of the Ark are 
shown, in the country of the Cordyaeans " ^ 

In these mountains, which were generally known 
to the Greeks under the name of the Gordyaeans, 
and which range through Curdistan, on the north- 
eastern side of the Tigris, the nursery must be 
sought of that race> from which the Asiatic conti- 
nent received its population. The elevated site of 
this region, which appears from the course of the 
great rivers that flow from it, must have facilitated 
the recovery of the soil from the effects of the De- 
luge ; the waters of which freely discharged them- 
selves through the channels of those great rivers, 
leaving the adjacent plains of Mesopotamia in a 
fitter state to receive the new settlers. One branch 
of this race, inheriting the name of Assyrians, from 
their progenitor Assur,. passed from those plains, 

Armenia of Nicholas Damascenus and the Oriental historians^ 
who have mentioned the deluge ; and proves it to have lain . 
nearer to Metapotamia, than the modern province termed Ar- 

^* Epiphan. adv. Hser. Lib. I. cap. i. p. 5. 

^^ Id. ibid. Hser. xviii. p. 39. c 


to the banks of the Tigris, within a short period 
after the deluge:'^ and, as appears, from the 
joint testimony of Jewish and Ethnic historians, 
there laid the foundation of Ninus or Nineveh, 
which became the metropolis of an empire,^]^ that 
ultimately extended itself from the mountains of 
Curdistan, to the shores of the Mediterranean. 

^fi The accounts of Justin, following TrogusPompeius, of Di- 
odorUs Siculus, following Ctesias, of Callisthenes, professedly 
copying the Babylonian archives, of Velleius Paterculus &c. 
when comparatiyely viewed, ascribe the Assyrian Empire a 
fdundatioTij about sixty years subsequent to the deluge. Vid. / 
Helvic. Theat. Hist, et Chron. p. 5. This statement, as its / 
author observes, ibid. ** perfectly agrees with Scripture, and the 
Babylonian sera :" for, as appears from a computation founded 
on the age of the Patriarchs, ''at the same time happened the 
birth- of Peleg, the dispersion of mankind, the confusion of 
tongues, and the building of the tower of Babel." Nor is this 
statement at all at variance with the testimony of Herodotus, 
(Lib. I. cap. xcv. xcvi.) by which Abp. Usher and his followers j 
seem to have been misled, (Annal. p. 43.) in placing the begin- 
ning of the Assyrian Empire, nearly one thousand years later. 
If we distinguish between the foundation of this empire, and 
the establishment of its rulers in the government of Upper Asia, 
of which alone the Greek historian speaks, in ascribing 520 
years to their dominion, the apparent contradiction, by which 
the chronologists have been misled, directly vanishes. 

^^ The substance of the Hebrew accounts of the foundation 
of the Assyrian empire, and of the first inhabitants of the coun- 
tries which constituted the Assyrian dominions, is given by St. 
Jerome : Quaest. in Gen. Tom. III. p. 465. b. " From this 
land,*' he declares, speaking of Shijjg, ** commenced the em- 
pire of the Assyrians, who after the name of Ninu s, the son of 
Belus, founded the great city of Ninus, which the Hebrews call 
Nineveh ..,,.. The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, A r- 
phaxad, Lud.and Aram. These occupy that part of Asia, 
which extends from the river Euphrates to the Indian Ocean. 
Prom Elam descended the Elamites, the first inhabitants of 
Persia. Of Asshur it has been already said, that he founded 
the city of Ninus. Prom Arphaxad descended the Chaldeans ; 
from Lud the Lydians, and from Aram the Syrians, whose 
capital was Damascus," ^ 




To the inhabitants of this tract the tradition of 
the deluge was a subject not merely interesting on 
account of its nature and magnitude, or the many 
local associations with which it was connected. 
It was regarded by them not merely as a consum- 
mation from whicn their ancestors had been pre- 
served, but as the earnest of a judgment which 
was reserved for their posterity, A tradition was 
preserved among them, which prevailed universally 
through the East, and was thence as widely dis- 
seminated in the West, that the earth, whicn had 
been given up to the violence of one element, 
would be resigned to the fury of another ; and as it 
had been overwhelmed by a Deluge, it would be 
wasted by a Conflagration." It was, however, 
believed, that the force of neither element would 
effect the total destruction of the universe, but 
would operate, as a purification, upon the race of 
men, and the frame of nature.^^ On thi^ tradi- 

18 The learned author of " the Sacred Theory of the Earth,*' 
Dook III. ch. ii. haying shown, that the belief of a general 
Deluge and Conflagration prevailed among the Greeks, Egyp- 
tians, Persians, Phoenicians, Arabians and Indians, observes 
in continuation : " And not only the Eastern Barbarians, but 
the Northern and Western also had the doctrine of a Conflagra- 
tion amongst them. The ScythianSy in their dispute with the 
^Egyptians about antiquity, argue upon both suppositions of 
jfire and water destroying the last world and beginning this. 
And in the West, the Celts, the most antient people there, had 
the same tradition ; for the Druids, who were their priests and 
philosophers, derived it not from the Greeks, but of the old race 
of wise men, that had their learning tradituMdUy^ 'and as it 
were, hereditary from the first ages. These, as Strabo tells us, 
gave the world a kind of immortality by repeated renovations ; 
and the principle that destroyed it was always fire and water. 

^ Id. ibid. ch. iii. p. 19. "The philosophers have always 
spoken of fire and water, those two unruly elements as the only 

causes that can destroy the world, and work our ruin But 

as they make those two the destroying elements, so 'they also 
make them the purifying elements. And accordingly in theif 


tionary belief, the universal prevalence of which,, 
amoijg the most ancient nations, has been conceived 
to prove it coeval w^ith the Deluge,^^ was founded 
the expectation of a Great Deliverer, at whose ap- 
pearance the earth would be restored to that 
piaradisaical beauty and happiness, in which it had' 
first proceeded from the hand of its Creator. 

How this belief has originated, of which it has 
b,een observed, as far as it involves the tenet of a De- 
luge ajid Conflagration,^^ '^that having run through 
ajl agesL and nations, it is by the joint consent of 
the prophets and apostles adopted into the Chris- 
tian faith," will be matter of separate consider- 
ation. Our present concern is with the traditions of 
tjie expected Deliverer, which, as impressed by 
no such powerful associations as attended the re- 
membrance of the Deluge, were more liable to be 
vy^eakened by time, or superseded by fiction. In 
order to separate this tenet, from amid the mass of 
error with which it is blended, it will be expedient 
to prosecute our views, a little further, into the 
Oriental superstitions ; directing our attention, in 
the first place, to that part of the Assyrian realms, ^/ 
which was the nursery of the Assyrian nation. 

In those mountains, which have been mentioned 
as ofFering the first landing-place to the small 
remnant of mankind, which escaped from the deluge, 

lustrations, or their rites and ceremonies for purging sin, fire 
and water were cliiefly made use of both amongst the Ro- 
mans, Greeks, and Barbarians. And when these elements 
aver-run the world, it is not, they say, for a final destruction of 
it, but to pwtge mcmJcmd and nature from their impurities^" 

^ Burnet, loc. cit. p. 29. " We have pursued the doctrine 
high enough, without the help of antediluyain antiquities, 
namely to the earliest people, and the first appearances of wis- 
dpm after the flood. So that I think we may justly look upon 
it as the doctrine of Noah, and of his immediate posterity.'* 

«i Id. ibid. p. 35, 

C 2 

r r'-jA.^M^^aHtf^SSf 


a sect has existed to a very late period, generally 
known under the name of Sabaists, to the oriental- 
ists,^ who account their religion the most ancient 
in the world. ^* Of this sect, the writer who has 
investigated their history with most care observes, 
^"that most Sabaists trace their religion to the 
antediluvian patriarch Seth, whom they call Sheit 
magnifying 'the book of Seth' the prophet of God." 
*^*' These" he elsewhere remarks, '*are some of the 
inhabitants of Mount Libanus and Curdistan, which 
seek a high original for their vile religion; some 
tracing it to Noah, some to Enoch, and some to the 
patriarch Seth. This wretched religion," he pro- 
ceeds '* which, as contained in *the Book of Seth,' 
we therefore call the Sethite, is cultivated at the 
present day in Libanus and Curdistan, by various 
tribes of Curds, as the Druses, the Assassins, the 
Kalbians, or Canicularians, (for a dog is called 

** The Sabaists are described, after Maimonides Mor. Ne- 
voch. P. III. cap. xxix. xxx. by Hyde, Hist. Relig. Vet. Pers. 
cap. iii. et Append, p. 491. al. 515. Leg. Hebrae. Lib. 
II. cap i. seq. Stanl.Philosoph. Orien. Lib. III. Pocock,not. 
in Spec. Hist. Arab. Hotting. Hist. Orient. Lib. I. cap, viii. 

** Ibn Hazm, apud Hyde, Hist. p. 128. 

** Hyd. Hist, loc cit. p. 127. "Plurimi antem Sabaitae 
Heligionem suam aliquanto altius petunt a Patriarcha antedUu- 

viano Seth, quern vacant ^».' y A Sheit, magnifacientes rh 

iHl ^3 ci : \A.& L^^ Sohuph Sheit Nebiullak, (sic enim 
sonant) * Librum Sheit Prophetae Dei." 

^ Id. Append, loc. cit. " Isti sunt ex hodiemis Montis Libani 
et CurdistanicB incolis, qui pessimae suae religionis orignem, 
alte petunt ; aliqtti a Noach, alii ah antediluviano Patriarcha 
Enoch, et quoque a Seth, Miseram istam religionem contentam 

in libro dicto Cr aaA cJb^ Sohuph Sheit (quam ergo Se- 
thicam Yocamus) hodie colunt in Libano et Curdistan varies 
Curdorum Gentes, uti dicti Diirzii, et ^^j^^^^ Homicidii, et 

r^ y ya Kalbii seu Calbii, i. e. Canicuarii (iiam Kalb seu Calb 
cs't Canis) ab aliis sic dicti, quia Nigrum Ganem colunt quod 
idem in Curdistdn seu GordycNB Montibus faciunt illi Curdi 

qui vocantur ^^J^, Yezidi seu iTezidaei,*' 

— — ..^-^rf*jiHb«Mriiitaiaa«tti 

. V— - -■" —. 

,%. .^'-K J 


Kalb or Calb) : so named by others, because they 
worship the Black Dog : as those Curds do, in 
Curdistan or the Gordysean Mountains, who are 
termed Yezids, or Yezideans. " 

Of these names, which have been chiefly applied, 
in derision, by the Mohammedans, it is of little im- 
portance to ascertain the original.^ To the name of 
Sheit, or Sethite, they seem to be exclusively at- 
tached ; as derived from the prophet whom they hold 
to be the founder of their religion. But they do not 
wholly reject the title of Yezid ; under which name, 
they acknowledge the divine author of Christianity,^ 
for whom they retain a veneration, since the efforts 
of the Capuchins to convert them.^® The name of 
Sabian they profess to derive from Sabi the son of 
Idris ;^ the latter being the name under which 
Enoch is known in the East ; a person whom the 
Sabians are ambitious of including among the 

*^ On this subject, it may be however obsetved, that the. 
name Druses, the use of which seems confined to the Europeans, 
is appKed to certain tribes of this sect settled in Mount Libanus. 
Dr. Hyde observes of them, " these Duriises were formerly m 
Mount Libanus, before the times of Herodotus, by whom they are 
called AwacriaToi, and were enrolled by the antient Persian 
Kings in their armies." After bearing testimony to their bra- 
very, fae declares that they are still prized as soldiers, and pre- 
ferred by the Turks to be Janisaries. It appears from what 
he subsequently states, that the Franks under Godfrey, of 
Bouillon maintained a friendly intercourse with them, and em- 
ployed their services against the Saracens. And from thence 
originated an opinion that they were originally Christians, who 
came to Palestine under a leader named De Dreux, from 
whom they acquired the name of Druses. The name Kalbii, 
I am inclined to believe, for reasons which will appear in the 
sequel, has originated from the veneration paid by them to the 
star Sinus, which was called by the Egyptians Seth, or Sothis, 

but is termed by the Arabs r*^^' « ^ »X Kalb acber : Canis Ma- 
jor, the Great Dog. vid. Hyd. Comment, in Ulug Beigh. p. 50. 

27 Hyd. loc. cit. p. 520. «» Id. ibid. p. 522. 

^ Ibn Shahna ap. Hyde Hist. p. 128. 


early professors, or ^ original founders, of their reli- 

In the peculiar creed of this extraordinary sect, 
one tenet is remarkable, as exacting a veneration . 
for their founder, whom they do not merely regard 
with the reverence due to a prophet.^ The volume • 
which they religiously follow, as their sacred code, 
they not only ascribe to him, as its author,^ but, 
in some inner recess of their houses, they, retain . 
his image, for the purposes of religious worship ; 
which none of their domestics can reveal to a 
stranger, without endangering his lif^, as the be- 
trayer of a mystery not to be divulged.^^ This 
dread of a disclosure may be partly resolved into an 
apprehension of Mohammedan persecution; the 
professsors of Islamism being bound by their faith 
to extirpate idolatry: but as it is equally expressed 
towards strangers, from whose intolerance nothing, 
is to be feared, it rather resolves itself into a super- 
SLtitiou9 dread of prc^sming a mystery^ by making it 
publicj Another tenet of this sect, which is equally 
remarkable, respects the light in which they view 
the Supreme Being, who is not regarded in their, an object of adoration: they indeed, 

^ Hydft^ ilM* p. 127. ** GSt quidan .SafaaitsE^ seu Sabii, is 
Monie Libano et altbi, dictum Prophetam.summMa venenmiurf 
eliam hodie, ut per etmi jurare plus sit quam per Deum jaraiNse : 
nam (quod ab incolis.cudici,) si aliquis ex istis juravedt tibi 

WalUh, per Denm, vixpotesei credere, at jsi WmAeit^ perSeth, 
tiM».tutQ potes ei credere.'^ Vide infm. n. '^* 
^l, Vide supra p. 12. n. ^ 

. 3*t Hyde, Append, uti su|Hra. '^ Lsti populi inintinodomus, . 
sive penu, tanquam in Larario, habent qwitque tumm.Peataiem^ 
I^remve^ (quern cokmty) qui viditur Patriarchie Seth imag0', 
9m.9UlhML4 quia is fuit primus eorum in religione antistes, cujus: 
nomii^e possident supra memoratum librum: quern una cum 
Leh^c aclea clam habent inter solos suos^ ut quicumqu^ eorum 
peregrino monstrayorit mox a sui9 trucidetur,'' &c. 


recognize him as the Most High, btit acknowledge 
his supremacy by no act of religious wrosliip. ^ 
But of the tenets of this extraordinary sect, perhaps 
the most remarkable are those which regufete their 
belief towards the Author of evil ; and which- have 
obtained them the appellation- of Satanites, both 
among Mohammedans and Christians . They term 
him master and teacher; and regard him with more 
than superstitious dread; with a religious awe, 
approaching to^ veneration/* They feel • a repug- 
nance at pronouncing his name ; and by no threat 
or violence can they ^eprevaiied upon, to utter a 
curse against him. •'Hie practise of venting im* 
precations against • any of the creAttrres of ^t)d i$ 
indeed regarded by them with peculiar abhorrencef^ 
As another peculiarity of their creed itraay^ be ob- 
served, that they do not reject the doctrine of 
transmigration ; as a necessary consequence of 
<Which, they di^elieve in^a" resurrection;'^- the soul 
which has deserted one body being conceived. by 

'5* Id. ibid. *'Putatit Deum fesse ^, non qmdem' AH, s6d 
:^/l, seu Excehum, cujus ^xistentiam agnoscunt, sed eum non 
adorant^ &c. 

'*' Id ibid. " Quidyis nigrum nAiltum sestimantur, propter 
colorein'(ut creditur) Diaboli, qiiem veTierantur, et qui ab istig 

vocatur OuuMt Ustddf i. e. MagMi^T,* « «^. At omiie»)^u9rg6fi^ 

hdittities a -Mohamedanis e^ Ohristiams Tocamtur ^ ^ Ug^w 
ShteiiUinii.e. Sataniei, Diaboliei, quia profitentunSSE^ttam-^se 

suum jju Pyr, seu gvjji Skeich, L e. Dwitorem. suunC^ S^Q* 
^^ la.* ibict. Nolunt quidem libenter fiomiruiTeillHabohim ; 
qui ergo potius per peripbrasin yocatur ^ Pavo Angelus' : yel 
* Is quern n6stis;' vef, 'N6stid quis sit;' vel, 'lUe cui «tulti,:et 
ignorantes maledicant." Id. ibid. ** ^N'ulla m adacti^ana^c^icait/: 
Diabolo: adeo ut aliqui ex iis excoriationem passi suut,potiu» 
quam tale quid facerent. Nam (iiiquiunt) qoh; possuippis,. 
salvsL conscienti^, maledicere alicui ci%aturse,> quae est Pei 
Creatoris" &c, 

'^ Vid. eund. ibid. p. 521, Ibid. p. 611. Hi .D^gaat .re- 
i^nrreclionem &c. 


them to seek a habitation in another, and not to 
await the resuscitation of that which it has deserted: 
To these tenets they add some nocturnal mysteries, 
wliich are celebrated at the opening of the new 
year. But these orgies are of a nature so shame- 
lessly abandoned, that I shall be excused, for 
abstaining from drawing aside the veil by which 
they are concealed, from one part of my readers ; 
while they remain committed to a language, which 
it less revolts against feeling, to transcribe than to 

In every lineament of this description we at once 
recognise the features of a sect, which is known 
throughout the East, under the title of Sabians, and 
is minutely described by the Persian and Arabic 
writers, who antedate its antiquity to the times of 
Abraham.*® . Equally distinguished by their vene- 
ration of the patriarch Seth, they profess to take a 
book, which they assert to be his composition, as 

^ Id. ibid. p. 517. '* Istae omnes Libani et Gordycsce Genteg 
habent annuatim Bacchanalium suonim festum nociuraum in 
Calendis Januarii, de quo ritu me certiorem fecit amicus noster, 
cui nomen Andiias Pharah, natione Syrus Ladikiensis, cujus 
socius aliquis ei narravit, se aliquando dictis Bacchanalibus 
clam interfuisse, (quod lepidum) quando post yespertinam 
commessationem et compotationem virorum et foeminanim, lu- 
minibus omnibus extinctis, in illicitam yenerem promiscue nie- 
bant omnes. Dictus socius antea conspecta yirgine, mm juxta 
Yetulam considebat, animum ei intendebat. Quando itaque 
extinguerentur lucemae, ille in tenebris nescius in utram harum 
inciderat, palpitando, malo fato, incidit in yetulam : et ut cer- 
tior fieret, digito explorabat illius os, an esset edentula. Quo 
facto, yetula ilia statim exclamabat, Garih^ Garib, i, e. Pere- 
grinus, Peregrinus, Peregrinus ! Ille autem mox eyasit pro yita 
sua. Haec itaque illorum solemnia sacra sunt prophana tene- 
brarum opera.'' 

^ See the testimony of those writers, collected in the yalu- 
able work of Dr. Hyae, cap. y. particularly the extracts from 
the '' Pharkngh Gihanghiri," ib. p. 124. and Ibn Shahna, ib. 
p. 128, compare also Abulfeda, cited by Pococke, loc. cit. p. 145« 


the sacred code of their religion. In one respect 
only do the ancient Sabaists appear to have been 
distinguished from the modern Sheits ; they pos- 
sessed a knowledge of astrology, professedly adopt- 
ed from the Chaldeans/^ though derived by some 
of them from their prophet ; vv^hich the ignorance 
attendant on extreme poverty has wholly extin- 
guished in the mountains of Curdistan, if it ever 
found its way among the wretched inhabitants. 
The strong cast which the ancient Sabaism took 
from astrology constituted its most prominent cha- 
racter. From hence it derived most of its rites 
and festivals, and many magical practices, which 
have become wholly extinct ; if they ever reach- 
ed the modern Sethites. It was obviously from 
hence also, that they assigned the stars that in- 
fluence over sublunary affairs, which first super- 
seded the providence of the Deity, and was then 
believed inconsistent with his nature, as too exalt- 
ed to descend to the concerns of this lower world. 
And a direct consequence of this tenet was, that 
they ceased to offer him religious worship ; trans- 
ferring their adoration to those luminous bodies, by 
which they believed the course of earthly affairs 
to be governed, and whom they constituted medi- 
ators between themselves and the Creator .*° 

These accounts, by native Persian and Arabian 
writers, are not the only sources from whence infor- 
mation may be obtained, respecting this ancient 
superstition. In carrying up our researches high- 
er, it appears, that they were not unknown to the 
primitive ages of Christianity. The learned writer 
who has been quoted, as fi^^ing the resting place of 

: ^ Pharkngh Gihan. ibid, Abul-Pharaj. Hist. Dynast. D. 
ix. p. 281. 

^ Phadingh Gihan. ibid. Sharastani ap. Pococke, loc. cit, p. 



the Ark, in the mountains of Curdistan, in his ela-- 
borate work on the ancient heresies, includes undef 
that title, not merely the apostates from revela- 
tion, but the votarists of superstition. In his ac- 
count of some sects, that were not wholly extinct 
in his own age, he describes three in connexion,** 
who differed from the Sheits or Sabaists, in little 
more than that they incorporated in their heredita- 
ry superstitions some of the peculiar tenets of the 
Christians. To one of these sects he gives the title 
of Sethians,*^ by which name, it has been already 
observed, the ancient Sabaists were ambitious of 
being distinguished . With them he couples a sect, 
which assumed to themselves the name of Cain- 
ites;*' by which title it will be soon rendered appa- 
rient, every branch of these superstitions, which pro- 
ceeded from the same root, was properly desig- 
nated. To the account of both sects, he prefixes a 
description of a third, termed Ophites,** or Serpen- 
tarians, from the veneration in which they held the 
serpent ; in whose form, the tempter had seduced 
the first pair, under a promise that they should be- 
come enlightened and immortal. 

Though the accounts transmitted to us, by the 
writer who has described these sects, are succinct 
and cursory, and have been drawn up with no view 
to the similarity subsisting between them and the 
Sabaists ; they exhibit a coincidence between the 
ancient and modern sects, not merely in accidental 
points, but in fundamental principles, which evin- 
ces some relationship, or descent from a common 
original. In the color of their opinions about Sa^ 
tan and Seth, (not to speak of the Supreme God, 
on this occasion,) scarcely a shade of difference is 

*i Epiphan. ubi supr. Tom. I. p. 267. d. seq. 

*2 Id. ibid. Haer. xxxix. p. 284. 

« Id. ibid, xxxviii. p. 276. ** Id. ibid, xxxvii. p. 267. 


discernible between them. And unless it be 
granted that the ancient Sethites were more solici- 
tous about appearances, than their companions in 
error,*^ there is but too much cause to impute to 
them, in common with the Sheits, an indulgence in 
those abominable mysteries,*^ which have fixed on 
tiiiis sect the brand of infamy. 

The accounts of those ancient sects, however cu- 
jious in themselves, are principally valuable, for the 
light which they reflect on the opinions and prac- 
tices of the modem heretics. By what gradati- 
ons of error the Supreme Being came to be super- 
seded, in the religious system of these apostates 
from his worship, even by the most degraded and 
depraved of his creatures, has been already stated ; 
and is indeed sufficiently obvious, in every shape 
in which they braved appearance, or eluded detec- 
tion. But of the paradox, how Seth and Satan 
became elevated to the rank, which they acquired 
in their theology, we might have in vain sought 
the solution, had it not presented itself, in the dis- 
closure of their private opinions. In the delusive 
hopes, under which the original pair had been se- 
duced, a promise had been conveyed, that "they 
should be as Gods, knowing good and evil." This 
promise these heretics appear to have regarded, as 
in some measure fulfilled in their descendants.^^ 
The Sethites, still paying an outward homage to 
righteousness, imputed every virtue in its pleni- 
tude to Seth,*® whom they chose as their patron. 
But the Cainites discovering a fuller measure of 
the virtues of the seducer, in Cain,*^ deemed him 

^ Conf. ibid, xxxix. p. 284. c. xxxvii. p. 276. b. 
^ Conf. ib. xxxvii. p. 268. a. xxxviii. p. 277. b. xxv. p. 77. 
c. xxvi. p. 86. a. b. 

4T Id. loc. cit. p. 268. b. 48 m. ibid. p. 284. b. 

*9 Id. ibid. p. 276. b. 

D 2 

. * —--jr* 


worthy of greater honor, in proportion to his high* 
er endowments . While the O phi tes, carrying these 
principles to their necessary extent, considered the 
author of the endowment, as entitled to the largest 
share of their veneration.^ They accordingly re- 
vered the tempter, as having imparted knowledge 
to mankind f^ and particularly as having revealed 
to the man and woman, the whole knowledge of 
the higher Mysteries.^* 

When the preceding accounts are considered in 
connexion with the facts recorded in the only early 
history of mankind which carries with it the air of 
veracity; the conviction seems irresistible, that 
the converts of these opinions, having debased re- 
ligion into practical impurity, sought some pallia- 
tive or justification, in the example of their first 
progenitors. Their common parent had yielded to 
the allurements of the woman, who had fallen by 
the seduction of the serpent. Inheriting the frailty 
of their nature, if not influenced by their example, 
the sons of Seth were captivated by the beauty, and 
corrupted by the allurements, of the daughters of 
Cain.^^ In claiming an alliance to their ancestors 

*> Id. ibid. p. 270. b. »^ Id. ibid. p. 274. d. 

«« Id. ibid. p. 272. a. "£«•£»« di 5 S(pK xj yfuQ* 5«y*ir, «»*«{• 

53 The learned and indefatigable Brucker, remarking on the 
similarity of pursuits, subsisting between the families of Seth 
and Cain, and their posterity, observes. Hist. Philos. Lib. I. 
cap. i. § vii. that ** the history of the world, by the sacred histo- 
rian, attests that the descendants of Seth, were prone to press 
in the footsteps of the Cainites, in relaxing the reins to desire, 
and in abusing their talents to bad arts : but on what account 
they resigned themselves to the dominion of pleasure and 
cruelty cannot be easily said." Of this difficulty, it would 
however appear, that we are furnished with a solution, from the 
same authority ; Gen. vi. 2. 4. " The sons of God saw the 
daughters of men, that they were fair , and they took them wives 
of aii which they desired . • • • and the sons of God came in unto 

Of a great deliverer. 21 

of either sex, the qualities inherited in the mater- 
nal line entitled them to the appellation of Cain- 
ites, and some of them felt no scruples in avowing 
such to be their descent, and even gloried in the 
title. But the virtues possessed in the paternal 
line conferred a splendor on the name of Sethite, 
which rendered it the favorite title, and that which 
was most generally affected, even among those by 
whose practices it was dishonored. The name of j. 
Ophite, or Serpentarian, seems to have possessed 
so few attractions, as to render it difficult to con- 
ceive, how it could have found partizans, even a- 
mong the depraved votarists of a religion, in which 
the author of evil was regarded with veneration. 
But to those who divest themselves of preposses- 
sions, this paradox may find a solution. In the 
superstitions of the East, the serpent soon attained 
to divine honors;^ having been considered the 
common benefactor of mankind, as the imparter 
of knowledge, and the revealer of mysteries.*' 
The orgies in which those superstitions not only 
indulged their votarists, but which they inculcated 
as a part of their worship, as they were accommo- , 
dated to the passions and propensities of mankind, ^ 
naturally gained among the multitude many pros- 

the daughters of men, and fhey bare children to them, the 
same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown*'* 

^ From the fragments of the Phoenician historian, Sanchoni- 
atho, we learn, that the mystagogue '^ Taut ascribed divinity 
to the Serpent, in which he was followed by the Phoenicians 
and Egyptians.** • • . .and that ** by the former, he was termed 
Agathodaim6n/* the Good Demoa or Spirit^ ** and by the lat- ^^ 
ter, Cneph.*' Vid. Euseb. ubi supr. p. 40. d. 41. c. The Phoe- ;// 
nicians it should be remembered were a part of the Asiatic ■/ / 
^pulation included under the name of Assyrians, or Syrians, k 

^* The Ophites assigned this reason, for their worship of tho^ 
-serpent ; apud Epiphan. ibid. p. 271, d. ^t« retvlyi* ^l aXr^av (petal 



elytes. In a system, so sadly perverted, that the 
grossest sensualism had superseded the pure spi- 
ritualism of religion, and in which to be depraved 
was accounted to be religious, the boundaries of 
virtue and vice were so confounded, that the au- 
thor of evil easily obtained an ascendency, and 
was atlength established in a supremacy. 

It may be considered an anticipation of the con- 
clusion, which these inquiries tend to establish, if 
they are here suspended to observe, that even at a 
period so remote from the source, as that to which 
they are as yet conducted, time had not wholly ob- 
literated the remembrance of the tradition which 
it is the object of these researches to recover. As 
far as the opinions of the Assyrians may be col- 
lected from the notions of the Sethites, who claim- 
ed an antiquity for their religion, not merely prior 
/to the foundation of the earliest ^stern empire, 
but antecedent to the Deluge; they supply us 
with evidence, that, even from the first, the expec- 
;tation of a Great Deliverer had prevailed among 
Ithis antient people. While the Sethites acknow- 
^dged the fulfilment of that expectation, in the 
|[;oming of our Saviour ; they maintained, that his 
^dvent was but the reappearance of their prophet 
Seth, from whom he was descended, not in the 
; course of natural generation, but in a miraculous 
'.and celestial mamier.^ The mysterious obscurity 
NviA which they have expressed themselves, on 
this subject, renders it difficult to ascertain, how 
they supported this notion of personal indentity 
between our Lord and the patriarch. But as the 

^ Epiphan. ibid. p. 280. a. 'Avo }i rS £nS xaU (rTripfut, i^ 

Hctla haio^yiv yiva^f o X^iro; 5x9ei' avrof 'imrdf, «vi Kara yin^ iXX«. 
^avfiMfui iy T«l xoo-fji^ 9rtfvi»ui, of iriv aMf o £»$, o r^f x^X^tro; 9vw> 

'^-^ • "^^ 


doctrine of transmigration was common to the 
Sethites with other Orientalists, and has been fre- 
quently employed in the East, to identify two per- 
sonages who appeared at different periods p it 
seems not unreasonable to conclude, that they be- 
lieved that soul had taken up its abode in our Lord, 
which had once animated the antediluvian patri- 

These are obscurities, however, which are found 
to clear up, in proportion as our inqmries are car- 
ried ba^k to an earlier petiod. And in the ages 
intervening between the times to which tins in- 
vestigation has been hitherto conducted, and 
that in which the Assyrians existed as a nation^ 
two epochs demand more particular attention ; as 
constituting the most remarkable eras in ihe his- 
tory of revelation. The great antiquity and wide 
diffusion of the Sabian superstition being admits 
ted, it would create a strong pres\unption against 
the mode in which this investigation ift {Mrosecuted^ 
sQid the conclusion which it tends to establish, if^ 
at .the remarkable ^ochs, distinguished by ti^ 
promulgation of the Christian and Jewish religion^ 
this superstition were left wholly unnoticed by 
the sacred writers. In the course of inquiry, how- 
ever, it will appear, that there is no ground fcr 
maintaining such an objection. In one of the ear- 
liest books of the Old Testament, the practices 
and opinions of the Sabedsts are very plainly des- 
cribed; and I am wholly deceived, or thnBy are 
mentioned in it, under the name of Sethites. And 
two <rf the inspired authors of the New Testament 

^ This principle, which has heen successfully -employed to 
account for the different Hermes, Zoroasters, &c. who have 
been supposed to exist atcUfferent periods, has been happily il- 
kistrated and a^ied, by M. (k Guignes, Acad, des Insciipl; 
Tom. XXVI. p, 779. 


have so plainly indentified a heresy, that existed 
in their own times, with the adherents of that su- 
perstition, that they enable us to ascribe it an ori- 
gin, which is antecedent even to the Deluge. 

In the last of the Epistles inserted in the Canoni- 
cal Scriptures, some facts of patriarchal history are 
recorded,^ which have been conceived, by some 
of the commentators who have expoundea them, 
to be derived from tradition, but supposed by 
others to be received by inspiration. The sa- 
cred writer, in declaiming against a heresy, which, 
even at that early period, infected the christian 
church, obviously resumes the subject of one of 
his inspired predecessors;^ frequently adopting 
his language,®' and in appearance referring to his 
authority.®^ The heretics, against which both these 
inspired writers direct the force of their eloquence, 
an early annalist, who has recounted some inci- 
dents of antedeluvian history, principally extract- 
ed from apocryphal writings, has identified with 
the Cainites.®^ And the notion of their identity is 
fully borne out, by the object and tenor of the 
arguments employed by the apostles against theiji ; 
which acquire greater clearness and strength, when 
understood in reference to certain opinions^ ascri- 

* Jude 9, 14. 

^ Vid. Clar. et Zeger. ad 2 Pet. ii. 11. The latter of these 
commentators describes CEcumenius, as haying been of the same 
opinion. See also Syncel. Chronograph, p. 13. d. ed. Goar. 

^ Vid. Wolf. Cur. Philolog. in Jud. 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 17, &c. 

^1 Jude, ibid. 17. ^* Glycas, Annal. p. 120. ed. Par. 1660. 

^' The Cainites boasted their affinity not merely to Cam, but 
to Core Bind the Sodomites, and justified their nefarious practices 
by the example of the fallen Angeh: yid. Epiphan. ubi supr. p. 
276. b. 277. a. Such are the indentical instances from which 
the apostles deduce their examples of the diyine yiengeance, in 
their declamations against the heretics ; see Jude, 6, 7, 11. 2 
Pet. ii. 4, 6. As a reference to the opinions of the heretics 
thus naturally ttGco«ut» for the yery peculiar mode of illusttatioa 

r^-:^ Jl 

wm fwr-^rrsiffi 





bed to this sect as well as practices imputed to 
them, in which they bore but too faithful a re^- 
semblance both to the ancient Gnostics and mo- 
dem Sheits.^ The application of the same prin- 
ciple to some passages in the apostolical epistles, 
furnishes a satisfactory solution of some difficulties 
in them,^ on account of which they were for a long 

adopted by the sacred writers; it enables us to perceive the 

force of the ar^menfs which they have employed against those 
offenders. "If God/' reasons St. Peter, *' spared not the 
t^els that sinned, but cast them down to hell". . • •'' and turn- 
ing the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned 
them with an overthrow, " shall he not " reserve the unjust unto 
the day of judgment, to be punished. ^ 2 Pet. ib. 

. ^ Comp. Epiphan. ibid. p. 277 a. 272. a. 77. c. seq. 2 Pet. 
ibid. 10, 13, 14..Jude,4, 7, 12, 19. Conf. supra, p. 16. n. ^. 

^ After all the learned pains employed by the commentators 
upon Jude, 6. 2 Pet. ii. 4. it is impossible to deny, that the 
most obvious and natural sense is that ascribed to these pas- 
sages, by Cappel and Jurieu, who interpret them by Gen. vi. 
2. understood of the angels, instead of the sons of Seth: Yid. 
Wolf. Cur. in loc. If the Apostles are supposed to reason 
merely on the concessions of the heretics, as deduced from their 
apocryphal works : their reasoning loses nothing of its force, 
while me apparent objection to those passages is removed. In 
favor of this view of their reasoning, it is to be observed, that the 
Cainites held similar notions respecting the angels ; whose as- 
sistance they invoked, and whose example they pleaded, in jus- 
tification of those enormities against which the inspired writers 
inveigh : vid. Epiphan. loc. cit. p. 277. a. d. And in those 
opinions, if not in those practices, they were followed by the 
Sethites : Id. ibid. p. 284. c. As these heretics possessed many 
apocryphal works, relating to this early period of antediluvian 
history, (vid. Epiphan. ib. p. 286. c. 287. b.) a similarity in the 
phraseology of the sacred writers which may be traced to the 
apocryphal ' book of Enoch,' justifies a supposition, that those 
writers have merely quoted this work, in opposing a heresy, by 
which it was assigned the authority of scripture. St. Peter 
speaks of the angels, as <' delivered into chains of darkness , to 
be reserved untojudgntent :" Ib. 4. St. Jude of their being " reser- 
ved in everlasting chains under darkness unto ihejudgment of the 
great day :" ib. 6. The book of Enoch, declares, that ** the 

'■•■•- E ■ 



time numbered among the disputed books of the 
sacred Canon. 

It tvould be foreign from my purpose to pursue 
the parallel, minutely or extensively, between the 
apostates described by the apostles, and the here- 
tics subsequently known, under the title of Cain- 
ites and Sethians. The perfect identity between 
the sectaries existing in the apostolical age, and 
the first apostates from the true religiose is apps^ 
I rently admitted by St. Jude, in referring to a pro- 
/ phecy which he ascribes to Enoch, whom tbe^ 
Sethites numbered among the founders of their re- 
Bgion. The apostle, having described, with the 
i^tmost strength of imagery and viggr of language, 
those miscreants, whose excesses, even in the age m 
^hich he wrote btoi^ht obloquy upon the church ; 
and, having previously reproached them, with 
having " gone in (he tvay 0/ Cain, " denounces them- 
1 in a prediction of the patriarch, which he pfefecei^ 
/ with the following words ; " and Enoch also, the 
seventh from Adam, prophesied to these^ saying,^ 

fpuv arcban^^U having made tbaear report to God " of die exces^tr 
ea committed by th^ watching angeU, in their intercourse with\ 
the dan^^ters of men, ** at \m command they b<yua»d the prince» 
of those transgresisors, aiid. threw th^m into an abyss, tb^re to be . 
kept to the c2«y of judgment J\." Raphael having been ordered 
t() bind Azael, hand ancE foot, and to throw him into darknes9^ , 
being destined to the punishment of fire, on the dag of judgment,^ 
ap, SynceL ubi supra p, 13. 

^ The words of Jude, without any variation of ib^ manu" 
spripti* or versions,, are as follows ; v^tfinviri ^l xj thIok sj^iofw; 
a/ffo A^apfc 'e»«x> ^V«»> «7«« The difficulty in these words is.eva^ 
ded in the Latin, English, French and Spanish versions, in the- 
same manner ; by rendering t»tok, by of: but in the Italian and 
Qerm$tn« by rendering it, W such. It is however in vain to 
dispute, thai the proper rendering of the phrase i» that which. is» 
expressed in the Syriac, >\mV . . . ^^^. /j. and supported 
by Valla ''prophesied to thes^." To "prophecy a^' is ex- 
pressed in Greek, by ^fo^Mv with the preposition wi^*, but tor 


b^lxold the Lord couieth with ten thousand of his 
saints^ to execute judgment," &c. Of these words 
it is to be observed, that the sacred writer, in 
thus ascribing a prophecy to Enoch, accommo- 
dates himself to tl^ modes of thinking prevalent 
amoi^ the Sabalsts, who professed that they re- 
tained the patriarchs' predictions in their apecry- 
i^al bookis. And, in representing ii^ anteai- 
tuvian prophet, as addressing himself to his con- 
temporaries, he implicitly admits the high antiqui- 
ty which tnat sect ascribed to their religion, in 
assi^gning it an origin previous to the deluge. 

In the correspondent epistle, in which these he- 
retics are mentioned, no express notice is indeed 
bestowed on any prophecy, professed to be derived 
from Ihe patriarchs. It ^ppears> however, not 
merely from the tacit allusions but the express 
declarations of the author, that the subject enga- 
ged some share of his attention.- After apprising 
his readers^ that ^* there were false prophets among 
tibe people,"®'^ he directly adduces an illustration^ 
firom the fallen angels,^ between which and a pas- 
sage in the apocryphal prophecy of Enoch a simi- 
larity has been traced that es^tends even to the Ian- 


^ propheey to*' by the same yeib with ilie dative ; conf. Matt, 
sv. 7. xxti. 68. The same distinction is observed in the Syiiae 
n^ch in the former caite uses Vv ^ but in the latter ^ ; as also 
in the Latin, which employs cfe, in the one case, but the dative 
in the ether. 8iich being the obvious construction of the pas- 
fHfe|!e before us, and & natural meaning, in inich a construction, 
being assigpwMe to it, to f<)ree tbe sense of the genitive on a 
dative, or to take d. demomrtrative pfronoun in the sense of an 
indeterflunate pronoun, b to offer an unwarrantable violence to 
the saeoed text. Yet ev^i this i» justifiable, when compared 
with the: eeuisiey adopted by Grotius, towards this^passage, who, 
tfom tike Mi|^^ tenb t^ok> extr^ts the sesise, '^ ia quod ittis est 
e«iBaturwn." '^^^ 

^^Vetw.1. % (» Ibid. 4- 

E 2 

\ ^ 



guage and imagery.^ If this similarity be suppo- 
sed to furnish too slender grounds for concluding 
that St. Peter has drawn from the same sources as 
St. Jude, who expressly quotes a prophecy of the 
patriarch ; they may be possibly discovered in a 
previous declaration of the former apostle. In in- 
sisting on the evidence of prophecy, he assigns it 
a comparative force, which must be understood in 
reference to some traditionary predictions ; or we 
must suppose him to maintain, that ** the word of 
prophecy was more sure " than "the voice which 
he heard," with the other apostles, when he was 
an eye-witness of the transfiguration J® 

^ ^ SynceUus, having given an extract firom the apocryphal 
^* book of Enoch/' part of i^hich has been already quoted siipr. 
p. 25. n.^ directly subjoins; Chronograph. p. 13. ''these things 
Enoch witnesses ; but ihe chief apostle, Peter, in his second 
epistle, declares of them '* &c. after which words he auotes 
2 Pet. ibid. 4. I have endeavored to shew, from the similarity 
in St. Peter and St. Jude's language and imagery, that they 
not only drew from the same source, but from the book of 
Enoch, uti supra n.^. It must be however observed, that the 
remains of the book ascribed to Enoch have descended to us, in 
a state wholly corrupted and interpolated. They have been 
collected by Fabricius,.Cod. Pseudepigr. Yet. Test. p. 160 seq* 
70 See 2 Pet. i. 19. The objection of Wolfius, Cfur. Philol. 
in loc. to the interpretation of ^is difficult text given by Mau- 
duit, who understands the **mor€ sure word of prophecy ,'' in 
reference to the " cunningly devised fables," mentioned vs. 16. 
is plausible ; — that ** it is not credible, the apostle would have 
compared the prophetical oracles with those specious trifles.'' 
But it loses its force, when in those {/.v^oi <7i<rof »<7/xiyoi are inclu- * 
ded certain predictions received traditionally from the patriarchs, 
though '^ sophisticated '* and blended with ** fables,^' Of the 
existence of such, in the apostolical age, there is unquestion- 
able evidence, independent of the quotation from Enoch's pro-* 
phecy in St. Jude, and the passages cited from the epistles of' 
both the apostles, supra p. 25. n. ^. Such prophecies, if tra-- 
ditionally received, were subjects of legitimate comparison with* 
the sacred oracles. The channel through which they were 


OF A GEE AT DELtVfittfilft. ' 29 

But however it may be doubted, that St. Petef 
has drawn from the same sources as St. Jude, or / 
that either apostle has alluded to any apocryphal 
writings : it is not to be disputed, that by the one, ' 
an .express reference is made to an antediluvian ] 
prophecy, and by the other, the subject ascribed 
to such {Hx>phecies isiuUy and explicitly mention- 
ed. The prediction of Enoch, in St. Jude, speaks 
oi ** the coming of the Lord to judgment, " at the 
end of the world ; but in St. Peter, " the promise 
of Ai^ coming " is connected with the subject of the 
Deluge and Conflagration. ^^« There shall come 
scoffers " observes the apostle, " walking after 
their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise 
of his coming?. . • .For this they willingly are ig- • 
norant of, that by the word of God the heavens 
were of old, and the earth standing out of the wa- 

pectively derived rendered ** the prophecy of the Scriptwremxxe 
sure, *' as not liable to be pervertea, like the traditional prophecy, 
with the ''private interpretations ^^ of those by whom it was o- 
rally transmitted. Such is the scope and object of St. Peter's 
reasoning; and when his words are understood in reference to' 
such a comparison, the difficulties with which they are enibar- 
rassed whoUy vanish. That the apostle had such a comparison 
in view is I think deducible from the exclusive force of me first 
person in the subjoined passage, which is rendered more strikiQg 
by a transition to the second, '* we have also a more sure word ' 
of prophecy ; whereunto ^e do well, that ye attend :'' for had 
he aot spoken in a relative, but an absolute sense, the natural 
structure of the sentence would have required him to have writ- 
ten, **ye have also a more sure word of prophecy^' &c. The 
same conclusion is deducible from the explanatory phrase ''of 
the Scripture/' added in the context, wluch states the causes ' 
that renaered " the word of prophecy more sure,** — " no pro- 
phecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation ;" &c. 
had not some other species of prophecy, as that of traditum, 
been contemplated, thb explanatory phrase would have been 
suppressed, according to the common usage of scripture lan« 

Ti 2 Pet iii.'d, 7, 13* 

: ,*rn*rjmSiaSf»t -t?.^ > r ■ i**j • t. ' \ 


t&r, mi in the water, whereby the world that then 
was, being overflowed with water perished : but the 
heavens and the earth which are now, by the same 
wofd are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the 

day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men 

Never^eless " he concludes, ^'we, according to his 
promise^ look for new heavens, and a new earth, 
wherein dwelleth righteousness." 

If he apostle's object in pursuing this subject, 
is obviously to restate the ancient doctrine of a 
Deli^ and CosJagnttion, in opposition to the ob* 
jeotions of those *' scoffers ** by whom it was deri- 
ded ; and to add the apostolical sanction to the pro- 
{^tical authority, by whidi that doctrine was 
supported.^ How fieur the subject fs connected 
with imtediiunan times or persons is a question 
wbieb admits of elucidation from documents of a 
different description, which however they may fall 
i^h0Ft of the apostolical writings, in authority^ are 
little inferior to them> in point of antiquity. 

The Jewish Instorian, Josephus, who wrote 
within a short pariod of St. Peter and St. Jude, 
ba»iB imany instances supplied the scantiness of 
the scrroture narrative, from his paternal traditi- 
ons. He not only ascribes a belief in the doctrine 
o£ a Deluge and Uonflagration to the antediluvian 
p«bri»x^hs ; but represents the posterity of Seth, 
as principalhr instrumental in transmitting the 
knowledge ofit to their posterity. In mentioning 
the descendants of the patriarch, he declares, that 
^^ having received a propheey from Adam, that 
these would be a destruction of the unirerse, both 

vs Siee 2 Pet. lii. 1,' 2. As tbe Best oommeHtanr on this 
clbctdne, the reader may be referred to *^ the SacreJ Theory of 
the Earth,**" Book IH. chap. iii. p. 30. seq. 

7' Joseph. Antiq. Jud. I^b. I. cap. ii. § 3. 


by the rage of fire, and by the violence and misilti-' 
tude of waters^ they made two pillars, one of briek 
and the other of stone, and engraved, (m them, 
their inventions ; that if the pillar of brick happ^> 
ed to be destroyed by the flood, that of stoiie 
might remain to instract mankind hi what they 
had written. TUs pillar,'' the historian ol)«»ei^^ 
*' remains until now in the land Sirias^ '' 

Much learned trifling has been employed^ in 
ascertaining the country in which these mo»^ 
ments of antediluvian science were erected, liie 
very name of which is matter of uncertainty and 
conjectured* By some the ruins (rf Setim 8 pillar 
have been accordingly discovered in Mo mt Sg k* ; 
by others in Seirath near Oilgal, in» the t^^^TE^ 
phraim ; and by others in the iron movttktim wki<^h 
extended to the land of Mgg^. Some* have ascri- 
bed tkem a ^te in Syria, a^^me in TBtmUi while 
0*b&rB Imve removed them to Abyssinia, iik^ sc^ 
eVea to India dr China^^ In tbis^ unc^tainty of 
opinion a specious claiM might be {^referred forth«l 
ittonntains inhabited by the Sabaista or ^heiti^ t 
there can be, however, tittle reason to dis^t, that 
tile Sirias of Josephns must be sought in £gyp€7^ / 

74 The tennsT^v ^z^eiict, wliieh occur m Josdphmliitve 

yv9 &c. to justify the placing of the pillar of Seth aceorcfaig t4 
the caprice mr widfies a£ i^e different tDaqscriberB of die Jemsh 
historian: yid. Sehmd. Paleat. Lib. I. cap. IHi-pr 3431 

'^ Vid. Reland. Palest ufot supra. Huet. Dem^ Evan. J^fA^ 
IV. c. 14. Stillingfl. Orig. Bacr. B. I. ch. ii;« § 12. ^nti 
JJmr* Hist; B. T. clu i^. 244. Bnick«r, Hist. FhOv Mtfi Ik 
cmp» ii § 6. Weidi^ EBbL Astranom. cap. ii. $ 4« 

76 Weidl. ubi. supr. p. 17. ** Nee terra Siriadiea^ahbi^amil 
oiica JEgyptiun ({D»reiida est Seres JEthiopica. gsiks, Setm 
oppidum in vicinia iBgypti, et Ser flu^iusinsuiaia ih mttd rubt^ 
^foit. Nilus sdb £thio|ttbu» Biris appellalnr '^ &c. conf. Bruckerv 
loc. cit. p. 59, n. Jablonsk. Annot, in Sratoirth. fetem ap,^ 


f.«4 • J. ■ « vi'^ .^.1 


-And an earlier account, which a historian of that 
country has given of the pillars of Thoth, forms 
conclusive evidence against the historian of the 
Jews f"^ that he has adopted the embellishing cir- 
cumstances^ respecting the pillar of Seth, which 
he has grafted on his paternal traditions of Adam s 
prophecy, from that writer whom he has frequently 
quoted. It should be, however, stated in his de- 
fence, that he was naturally led into this error by 
the identity of the personages whom he apparently 
confounds ; the Egyptian mystagogue being a fic- 
titious character, confessedly derived, through va- 
rious transmigrations in persons of the same name, 
from some antediluvian prophet, who, there is no 
reason to doubt, must be the patriarch Seth, or one 
of his immediate descendants. 
•^ But however these objections may affect the in- 
cidental circumstances added by the Jewish histo- 
rian to his account, they detract nothing from the 
maiii subject of the tradition which he has recorded, 
and which is corroborated by many collateral cir- 
cumstances. That the spirit of prophecy rested on 
the posterity of Seth,^ is not merely a supposition 
restmg on probability, but a fact supported by in- 

Vignol. Chronol. Tom. II. p. 764. 

77 Conf. Syncel. uti supr. p. 40. Joseph, contr. Appi<m. lAlh 
I. p. 1336. 

' 78 Brucker, referring to Gren» iv. 26. and Heidegger, Hist.^ 
Patriarch. P*. I. Exerc. vi. § 10. seq. observes. Hist. Phil. Lib. 
I. cap. .ii. § viii. *' Sethi vera pasteros, qui parentem habu^e di- 
Tina revelatione gaudentem, propheticam magis quam philosfh- 
phicam scholam habuissey inque ea, quae de Dei . yero cultu et 
speranda amUsce felicitatis per SEMEN mulibris restHutione 
pia parentum traditione et dirina revelatione acceperant, ex sa- 
oris Uteris constat • • • • Habuisse quoque inter se propketasjpecu^ 
liari cum Deo consuetudine et revelatione gaudentes, Enochi 
^emplum probat, quern ex ista revelationis luce fiiisse vati- 
cinatum D« Judas asserit," 


»^»«^ -"^ ■ m>umimmmmmmmmmm''^immf'mmmmmm,mmr'^^^^'^'^*m^r'w^^ 


spired authority of one of the apostolical writers, 
Enochs who enjoyed the propnetical vision, was 
his lineal descendant ; the prophecy, which we 
have the authority of an apostle for ascribing to 
him, relates to that great consiunmation, which 
Josephus represents to be the subject of Adam's 
prediction ; and the apocryphal book, which was 
inscribed with his name, mentions the fate which 
awaited the earth> from the destroying elements, 
fire and water. Afte^* relating the defection of \ 
the watchers, it expressly states, that the earth 
was to perish by a deluge ;^^ and in mentioning 
the curse pronounced against Mount Hermon, 
which was the scene of their excesses, it is inci- 
dentally addedi that it was to perish by fire.^ A 
foresight of these great events has been ascribed to 
the patriarch, from whom the Sethites tooktlaeir 
Qame, by some Hellenic writers, who had access 
to apocryphal works, no longer extant. By one 
of these writers, who has quoted from " the lesser 
Genesis, " and '' book of JEnoch, " it is declared, 
thalf^" when Adam had reached his two hundred 
and seventieth year, Seth was rapt from the earth 
by the angels, and initiated by them, in the fall of 
his future posterity, the watchers ; and in the des- 
truction of the earth by a deluge, and the advent 
of a Saviour. Having been abstracted and invisi- 
ble forty days, he returned and revealed these 
things to his parents, having then attained his forti- 
eth year. " 

Nor are we to regard these traditions as confi- 
ned to a peculiar branch of the Assyrian race, who 
were favored with a more plenary revelation of the 
truth, and to whose exclusive keeping the inspi- 
re Vid. Syncel. uti supra p. 25 b. ^ U. ibid. p. 26 c. 
«i Syncel. ibid. p. 10. a. conf. Cedren. Hist.Compend. p. 8. d. 
9. b. ed. Xyland. 




ed oracles were committedi, as a sacred deposit* 
It appears, on the authority of a native Chaldee 
historian, that the belief in a Deluge and Confla- 
gration was prevalent among his compatriots, and 
that they professed it was derived to them from 
Belus, whom they numbered among the founders 
of their nation.®* Of this tradition it is observa- 
ble, that it has suffered no less in its transmission 
through Chaldee than Jewish channels ; Berosus> 
in framing his comment on the text of Belus, 
having borrowed some embellishments from his 
national science, in assigning it an alliance to the 
Chaldaic astrology. 

If, with the aid of these illustrations, the preced- 
ing observations, on the testimony of St. Peter 
and St. Jude, be allowed their full effect, they 
seem to identify a heresy of the apostolical age 
with the primitive apostates who preceded the 
; deluge. And however it may be disputed, that 
they have succeeded in substantiating this point, 
it will be atleast admitted, that they have ade- 
quately proved all that they are adduced to esta- 
blish. That no argument can be deduced, from the 
silence of the inspired writers, against the exis- 
tence of such a sect as the Cainites or Sabaists, in 
. the age in which the Gospel was promulgated. 

«« Senec. Nat. Quaest Lib. III. cap. xxix. ** Beroms, qui 
Belnm interpretaius est, ait, cursu siderum ista fieri ; et aaeo 
quidem id afiirmat, ut Conflagrationi et Diluvio tempus assig*^ 
net : arsura enim terrena contendit, quando omnia sidera, quae 
nunc diversos agunt cursus, in cancrum convenerint... .tntin- 
dationemfuturamy cumeadem siderum turba in capricomum con- 
venerit," &c. This knowledge descended to Seneca, as a 
Stoic, irom Zeno the founder of this sect : who acquired it in 
Citium, whither it was brought from Chaldea, by the Phce- 
nicians,see " Burnet's Theory/' Book III ch. iii. p. 27. We 
\\ here observe that it is traced by Berosus the Chaldean histor- 
Uian, to Belus, one of the founders of the Assyrian nation; vid* 
vf supra p. 9. n. ^T 



Even further than this does the testimony of the 
apostles extend, as supplying a link in the chain of 
evidence, by which these inquiries may be at once 
connected with the period to which they are ulti- 
mately directed. In proscribing the heretics of 
the apostolical age, St. Jude condemns them, as 
" running into the error of Balaamy"^ and St. Pe- 
ter, ais following the way of Balaam, the son of 
Bosor."®* The evangelist, St. John, entering more 
into details, characterises them, by the offen- 
sive qualities which have rendered this sect infa- 
mous from the first: he upbraids them with** hold- 
ing the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to 
cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel^ 
to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit for- 
nication."^ In being led to this period, we are at 
once conducted to the object of these inquiries ; 
as intended to ascertain the expectations formed 
by the Orientalists, of a Great Deliverer. This ob- 
ject may be efiectually attained, fi'om the opinions 
of JJEfalaajBi.; as declaring the sentiments of a native 
-Assyrian, at a time when that empire, which took 
tnelead in the policy of the East, had been some 
centuries established in its dominion.®^ 

The fortieth year had nearly expired, after the 
Israelites had taken their departure from Egypt, 
and they had reached their last encampment in the 
plains of Moab, when Balak invited Balaam from 
Syria, by a special deputation of his nobles, to op- 
pose the new invaders with his enchantments. Of 
the occupation or country of the seer, whose assis- 
tance the king of Moab required, there can be little 
room for dispute ; whatever difficulties have been 

» Jude, 11. «* 2 Pet. ii. 16. ^ Rev. ii. 14. 

^ The prophecy of Balaam was delivered in the year 40 of 
the £xod, which coincides with the year 774 of the Babylonian 
era, and was about 835 years after &e deluge ; vid. supra p. 9. 

T 2 




raised on the subject, by those who have investi- 
gated his history, or expounded his prediction. 
Balaam is termed by his contemporary Moses, 
the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia ; " or, 
Syria between the two rivers ^"^ in which desig- 
nation he is at once identified as a native Assy- 
rian." Had we been at any loss to ascertain the 
country of the seer of Pethor, thus clearly defined 
by its natural boundaries ; some light might be 
attained in discovering its site, from his own repre- 
sentation in declaring, that " the king of Moab, 
brought Yarsifrom Syria y out of the mountains of the 
east . "^ The plains of Mesopotamia are overlooked 

^ According to the original Hebrew, Dent, xziii. 4. taah:x 
tsi**\m Dn»^ ninoD, nirn |n which literally mgnifies, '< Balaam, 
aon of Beor, of Syria of the two rivers :' in which words the 
country of Balaam is so clearly defined, as not to be mistaken. 
The authors of the Chaldee Paraphrase and Jerusalem Targuln, 
accordingly identify the principal of the rivers, within which it 
was enclosed, in rendering onnJ DIM, by n*nB hv^ DIH, " Syria 
which is on the Euphrates." The Septuagint, in employing 
the language of the Greeks, have aoc<«imodated themselves to 
their geographical distinctions, in which Syria was not conceiv- 
ed to extend beyond the western bank of the Euphrates. Tbey 
have accordingly rende**ed the passage, liaXotaf*, vllt Baw^ U rv0 
Mt<roirola[jiia<:, Balaam son of Beor /rom Mesopotamia: in which 
they are followed by the Italian, French, English and German 
versions. The Vulgate of Jerome, adhering more closely to the 
original, renders the passage, with an inversion, ** Balaam fiKom 
Beor de Mesopotamia Syruef* which is litenidly trapsplanted 
into the Spanish of P. Scio ; ** Bala^, hijo de Be6r» de la Me^-^ 
sopotamia de Siria/* The passage, with a slight alteration,would 
be, I conceive, properly rendered, ** Balaam son of Beor of 
the Mesopotamian Syria.'* 

^ Selden, admitting that the terms Syria and Syrian wete 
but European corruptions of the Oriental AosmB. and Assyrian^ 
confirms his assertion by the authority of Herodotus ; vvo f4.l» 

*E>0^i9u¥ IxeeAioirlo ri/^»o», vwo it ffet^pa^iv 'Atfo^pMi tttXiAna'af: and of 

Justin, '* Imperium Assyriif quiposiea Syri <{ic^ncfi/,mille.tie- 
centis annis tenuere :'' De d4 Syria, Proleg. cap. i. p. 4. 
^ Num. xxiii. 7. o*ip nnno* • • .D^m |o ; in rendering these 


by the Cordyeean mountains ; and both the eleva- 
ted and plain country^ were inhabited by Sabians, 
whose tenets Balaam was instrumental in propa- 
gating among, the Israelites. His country should 
be, however, rather sought near the upper Chaldea, 
which was also mountainous, and was situated to 
the north of Mesopotamia,^^ which is equally re- 
presented, by the oriental traditions, as infested 
by the Sabian superstitions. In the vicinity of this 
region, the Greek and Latin Writers place some 
schools of Chaldee diviners,^ to one of which they 

words, the versions, after the eitample of Jerome's Vulgate, ad- 
here more closely to the original. The Septuagint, following 
the Greek geographical distinctions, translates it, U Msa-oTolccfAi»g 
• * » ,1^ opsu¥ cim avetroKuv ; hut the Latin Vulgate, retaining the 
original term, renders it: '* de Aram. • • .de montihus orientis :'* 
and the same term is preserved in the French, Spanish and En- 
glish. But the Italian, with greater propriety ; ** di Siriuy dalle 
montagne d'oriente :" as well as the German ; ** aus Syrien. ^ . . 
von dem Gebirge gegen dem Aufgang:" vid. supr. p. 7. n,*' 

^ Stanley, Hist. Philosph. Orient, lib. III. cap. ii, after 
referring to the authority of the Rabbinical and Arabic writers, 
adds, that according to them, ** the religion of the Sabians wait 
the same as that of the inhabitants of Charan and Mesopota- 
mia," at the time of Abraham. 

91 Cleric. Ind. Phil, in Stanl. Phil. Or. v. ChaUaea. "Chal-. 
dselt duplex fuit, una Armenian vicina ac montosay ad septentri- 
gmem MeMpotamup., de qua Xenoph. Cyr. Lib. III. p. 70. ed« 
Wechel. etStrab. Lib. XII. p. 378. ei. Genev. In hac fuit 
Ur, Abrahamipatria; ut ostendit Sam. Bochartus Geogr.Sacr* 
Lib. III. cap. vi. et alibi in suo Phaleg.** 

9« Bmcki Hist Phil. Lib. II. cap. ii. § 8. p. 1X4. "Nai-r- 
rant porro Pliaius (Hist. Nat. Lib. VI. cap. xxvi.) et Strabo, 
(lib. XVI. p. .509.) in Shetsis Assyrii regni regionibusetj^x^d-' 
cipuis uslihvai,peQuliare$fuisse gchokut [Chaldaeorum] ; Bippare^ 
nif urbe Metopatamice, unde Hippforenfirvm secta ; Bajbylone, , 
Hade Babylouii ; Orchoes Chaldseorum oppido^ unde Orcheni^'. 
&c. Conf. Stanl. ubi supra. Lib. I. sect. i. cap. ix. The term 
Orcheni is derived by Salmasius, (Praef. libr. de ann. climapt.) 
fimn th^ Chaldee w»an3 nw, * priests of fire :' the nina» Pettipr, 
fintn wheAce Balaam was de»go^.tedji and which Jerome ti^os- 


ascribe a name, which may be derived from the Pe- 
thor, whence Balaam was designated, with less 
violence to orthography than has been offered to 
many oriental terms, avowedly transmitted to us 
by these writers. 

In determining the profession of Balaam, there 
exists as little room for doubt, as in ascertaining 
his country. He is designated in scripture, as 
" Balaam the son of Beor, the soothsayer," or divi- 
ner.^ The Chaldean sages have been divided, by 
the writer who has most accurately described them 
into four kinds ; of whom the second addicted 
themselves to the arts of divination:^ recourse 
being had to astrology and augury, to obtain an in- 
sight into futurity.^ From an acquired proficien- 

lates ariohu, Num. xxii. 5. seems to suggest a better deriTE- 
tion, in the participle |nnt)n, from nnt), to interpret ^ for the Hip- 
pareni of Pliny. In support of this conjecture it is to be ob- 
served, that YnnB, signifies interpretation, from the same verb : 
and that some of the Chaldean astrologers were professed inter- 
preters; vid. Stanl. ubi supra cap. x. To account for the omis- 
sion of n in the Hippareni of Pliny, it may be observed, that 
the Lalin has no mode of expressing this character ; and that it 
b constantly commuted with n, in the dialects of tfie Semitic : 
as in the constructive case of feminine nouns, and in forming 
the feminine plural. 

^ According to the original Josh. xiii. 22, ^^n T^ cai^^a, 
DDlpn, in rendering which words little difference is discoverable 
in the versions : ODipn being translated, in the Greek, fdAfl^p ; in 
the Latin, ano/ttm; in the Italian, tndovino; in .the French, de- 
vin; in the Spanish, adivino; in the German, Weistager; and 
in the English, soothsayer. The Hebrew term is taken in an 
evil sense, Deut. xviii. 14. and generally throughout scripture; 
and in such a sense the cognate term oDp is used by Balaam 
himself. Num. xxiii. 23. '' neither is there any divination a- 
gainst Israel ;" in which version, the proper force is assigned 
ue term, which is rendered in the Septuagint, fAanrtU, and in the 
Latin Vulgate, divinatio. 

9^ Stanl. uti supra Lib. I. sect. ii. ad init. 

^ Id. ibid. cap. xxvii. *' Secunda pars Chaldaicae doctrinae 
sita erat in ditinandi artUms, quarum preecipoa fiut Asirohgia. 


cy in these arts, we have authority from scripture 
to suppose,^ that Balaam obtained the repute, and 
acquired the appellation, of a diviner. 

Nor can his claims to a higher or prophetical 
character, previously to his entering on his mission 
to Moab, be supported on the same authority, al- 
though he has been termed " a prophet" by the a- 
postle.^ In reconciling this title with his desig- 
nation, as "a diviner, *' it is unnecessary to suppose, 
that it has been catachretically applied, as by an- 
other apostle,^ from being commonly conferred on 
the Chaldean seers, by the orientalists. With that 

Haec quae ab iis primum inventa traditar,.praecipaa eoramin se 
trazit stadia^' &c. Id. ibid. cap. xxiii. " JPraeter astrologiam, 
alias invenere et iisuq[>avwe Chaldaei divinandi aries, inter quas 
Diodonis memorat, * diyinationem per ayes^ somniorum pro- 
digiorumque interpretationes et quae pertinent ad Aruspicinam** 
Maimonides quoque auctor estapud ChaldaeoSy abantiguitsimU 
tuque temporibuSf yaria iiiisse Sariohrumgenera*' &c. 

^ Num. xxiy. 1. '* And when Balaam saw that it pleased 
the Lord. • • .he went not, as at other times y to seek for enchant^ 
ments" The Septuagint and Vulgate conspire in rendering 
C3*tt^na, by augury, which is here translated endkantments : the 
latter partof tibe passage is rendered in the LXX, «« •'vo^iv^ 
xa1« to ii«S^f avrZ §U ^weti^hit rtik% olimu &i^d in the Vulg^ate, 
^'nequaquam abiit, ut ante perrexerat, ut augurium quaereret.^' 
The Italian adopting auguri, and the Spanish aguero, accord 
with the Latin ; the French using enchamtemensp and the German 
Zduberem correspond with the English* 

9r 2 Pet. ii. 16. 

98 St Paul^ in quoting a passage from Epimenides, Tit. i.l2« 
thus speaks of the Cretan seer ; ** one of themselyes, eyen a pro-* 
phet o&their own, said :" &c. in which passage the apostle ac- 
commodates himself to the heathen Ixodes of expression ; Aristotle 
and Cicero haying attested the prophetical spirit of Epimenides^ 
and Plutarch haying of his prophecies. The same 
title was bestowed on the Chaldee diyiners ; Salmas. Plin. Ex* 
ere. in Solin. p. 647. b. ** Sacerdos [Berosus] fuit Beli, a^ v^- 
fnlti^, eerie etur^>>oy9f,ut fere omnes fuere tam JEgyptii quam 
Biniyhnii, prophet^e die sacerdotes. Immo et quales JEgyptiif 
prophet^ie, UUes AssgrUsChakkei, qui et Astrologi. '[ s/ i . 


sacred character the Mesopotamian diviner be- 
/ came invested, from the time that he uttered the 
remarkable prophecy, which he delivered to Ba- 
lak. On that occasion, the scripture accordingly 
describes the influence by which he was moved, 
in terms that are only applicable to those, who 
were divinely inspired, and who possessed the pro- 
phetical vision.^ That he was then visited by an 
a£3ation of the divinity, to which he had been pre- 
viously a stranger, seems to be implied in the in- 
fluence which it possessed, in inducing him to re- 
nounce his delusive art : " he went not, as at other 
times, to seek for enchantments," or augury.**^ 
The wisdom of selecting a seer, from the coun- 
try of diviners, to fill the high ofiice on which Ba- 
laam was deputed, is sufl5ciently apparent, without 
any labored illustration : his mission derived advan- 
tages from his fame as a soothsayer, which it could 
scarcely have acquired from his character as a pro- 
phet. Had it secured no other object, than to give 
the Israelites the assurance of a diviner, and one 
the most highly reputed in his art, '' that there was 
' no enchantment against Jacob, neither any divina- 
tion against Israel, '* in attaining this end, its wis- 
dom had been obvious. On the nations existing 
out of the Jewish pale to whom the prediction of 
Balaam was addressed, and for whom it was prin- 
cipally intended, its operation was of more obvious 
importance* From them, a more ready assent Mras 
. obtained to the truths, which Balaam was instru- 
mental in revealitig, in consequence of their being 

^ Num. xxii. 4. " And the qririt of God came upon him/' 
On the uuliiOTily of l^is passage, the Jewish and Christian com* 
mentatojTS assert the inspiration of Balaam. Vid. Targ. JonaA. 
et Hieros. in loc. Drus. ilnd. Bp. Newton im .the Proph. 
Works, Vol. I. p. 90. 
100 Vid. supra n.^ 



delivered by one of their compatriot?, whose fame 
must have been generally diffused, as it extended 
from Mesopotamia to Moab. In the temporary 
conversion of so reputed a seer, and the public re- 
nunciation of his errors,, before the assembled no- 
bles of Midiaa and Moab, a salutary lesson was 
inculcated before those nations, upon whose super- 
stition the delusive art which he practised had ex- 
ercised a tyrannous and. degrading influence. s. 
But the wisdom evinced in the selection of a Me* j 
sopotamian diviner, to be the prophet of those truths \ 
which Balaam was chosen to deliver, must be prin- 
cipally sought in the substance and tenor of his 
predictions, ahd their adaptation to the purposes of 
those nations, to whom they were immediately di- 
rected. That these points may receive the fullest 
elucidation, preparatory to the deduction of those 
important consequences, which it is the object of 
these inquiries to elicit, I shall give the text of the 
prophecy in the form which I conceive approaches 
nearest to that in which it was written. In the 
different versions of it which have been transmitted 
to us, by the Jews and Samaritans, some trifling 
variations are discernible; as contributing to the 
establishment of the genuine text, on which alone 
our inferences should be founded, I shair trans- 
cribe it in the character in which it was originally 
composed, being that in which it is preserved by 
the Samaritans. 

*•* The printed Hebrew text reads nj^a ; but (1) a» it marks 
the omission of the i, by pointing r with cholem ; (2) as it also 
retains that letter, in citing "the same name, quoted on other oc* 
casions : and (3) as in the collations of Hebrew mss. published 
Iby Keimicoty codd. 1, 5^ 6, and above 30 others agree with th« 




'MVK ^A^ «\al« tttiWMC 

acAv /Pit tlA^^A 

Samaiitink oM. in leading l*rjn; no deub€ oeili be enietteiMI 
il^at th^ Hebrew pnnted text is in thispl^u^e corrupted. 

^^ Several of the Hebrew mss. in Kennlcot's collations^ a$ 
cod. 9, 69, al. 8. read rnvi. 

105 The printed Samaiitan text reads i»A^t[l*f ?t**w* i?f A^UiS 

but (1) as, in Kennicot's coUatioii of Sai^afitan mss. 4^l2i[tt 
IS fbund in cod. 61, 63, l^d, ^21, ftl. 4: (2) tts Mnn Unif4^riiify 
occurs in ih^ Hebr'eir co|>i6B; and (8) as the fit«lre» Ieo<toHf# 
M» 1, «, are constantly <eq|ifbuilded by the Oriental scribes, tfae^ 
printed Samaritan text« in this plaoe, is obviously corrupted. 

^0* The printed Samaritan copies read tttA2, but (1) as 

t!tAJ^2 oeeurs in the Samaritan, cod. 61, 64; (2) as /(- might 

have been absoibed in A following ; and (3) as the Hebrew co? 
pies are constant in reading *nHQ, no doubt can be entertained 
that it is the genuine reading. 

^^ Of the Hebrew mss. cod. 9. r^ds fiW iitt^, and cod. 69^ 
r\int> : but ind^eAdsant &( the want of sstnae, m these readili^^ 
which are opposed to the common consent of the Hebrew and 
Samaritan copies, they have obviously arisen in the difficulty ef 
the passage. 

^^ The Samaritan copies, printed and tnanuscript, in place of 

*\F*\r, read*yiP*^1?' wtiteh reading id supposed to be confirmed 
by Jer. xlviii. 46. ]M^m 'JS ^P"'P'' 5 in which there is an obvious 
alkRion to the pto^ge before us. In favor of ti»ti» reaithig of 
^hbiSaaiaritan copies, it must be acknowledged, (1) that it vr^ 
mst iik^iy to be SHlopted firom the prophet> as theSiimafita^re- 
beiVe' Aofle of tlieprDphetxeai scriptures contained in the Hebt^w 

V!imn : (^) that th« siti!iilai% of "¥ aad ^ In the SadiHitiui 



text, or 1 and ^ in the Hebrew, miglit hayeocdasioned the vari- 
ation ; and that the transition to ^ or n, is more easily ac- 
counted for, than to ?9 or n : as the sn^all stroke by which th^se 
letters are distinguished might hare been obUterdted by time, or 
emitted by negligence, in the former case, while it i9 not easy to 
explain how ^ey could have been added in the latter. But as 
the phrase ipip. . • -v^o* occurs in Ps. Ixviii. 22. and seems to 
bare been colloquial, and, as such^^ was likely to be adopted by 
Jeremiah and the transcribers of die Pentateuch ; and as the 
antithetical nature of the Hebrew versification, which is in thid 
case supported by the stiehometry, seems to require the verb, 
•ipipi, analogous to ^n. • • -opi. . . 'X'^ts>^, in the three precede 
utg, and nmt, in the two following verses, I am mcUned to be- 
lieve it the preferable reading. It is however of little importance^ 
to which reading the preference is ghren ; as the effect produced 
by either on the sentence is immaterial 

*<^ The printed Samaritan reads ^***ir^flf ; but as the He- 
brew uniformly reads ntt^n* ; in which it is supported by the Sa- 
nuiritan mss. cod. 61, 63, 183, 334^ al, 4, the preference is due 
tp this reading. 

^^ The Samaritan copies, as wdl printed as manuscript, for 

•UITV***, Seir, rea4> t^V, Esau, a jpalpable gloss, derived 
ftom Gen. xxxvi. 8. It is notwithstandmg adopted by the Sepr 

109 Tbe rei^diflg, "^ntV^i^ '^nt'^^^, t^d ina^, which is sup- 
poi^ted by the uniform consent of the Hebrew and Samaritan co- 
IH«», a9 weH printed a$ manuscript, and corroborated by the an- 
cient versions, has given offence to the critics, who have propo- 
sed several conjectures for its amendment The Chaldee para- 
phraat, who read *}*3^p» seems to have believed the sense incom- 
plete, and has accordbgly, paraphrased the passage, nnpo 
H»POy * from the city of the people/ For intt^, Calmet propo- 
ses reading n*]^tt^> and interpcets the passage, * the residue o^ 
Seif.^ But Houbigant, with less violence to the text, proposeat 
flubsU^Bg the sam.e word for n^»; a conjecture which deriveii 
i^me countenance fr(»n the facility with which, in the primitive 

^hai«<ter^ ^KV% nught have been substituted for ^MTTV^ : he 



^iiSA^ffn: tz»»a J^^mt vl^v aa- AMirt 
istis vZ^a »anr*»»t i4a»»t»tt iAHfA. 

interprets the passage * the remains of Seir.' Some phrases in 
IsaisLh and Jeremiah, relative to the c|btniction of the cities of 
Moahy to which the inhabitants naturply fled for safety, render 
these conjectures more than questionalUe : see Is. xvi. 7, 8. Jer. 
xlviii. 7, 8, &c. ^ '^ 

^^^ The Samaritan cofHi^ adopting a different division of the 

terms, read ^^/fttt ?V^ with little influence on the sense ; 
and as nr as well as ip <iccurs in the sacred text, with no im- 
provement in the orthography. They are followed by Houbi- 
gant, who renders the passage, '^ posteritas ejus adpemiciem re- 

"* Of the Hebrew mss. cod. 1, 6, 14, al. 4, read opn, instead 
of the printed 0*pn, which generally occurs in the Hebrew and 
uniformly in the Samaritan copies. Of the mss. of the Septuagint 
which reads Kty^roy in the printed text, the collation of Holmes 
exhibits the following varieties; KuvaTov, cod. 2. ed. Gom- 
plut; Kaivaroy, cod. 16, 62, al. 4. KipecTov, cod. 15, 18, al. 11. 
vers. Georg. Arm. 1. aliique. Arm. ed. KaUtov in textu, et 
Kf ycoy margo cod. x. Kt»p»7ov, Lips. 

jr "« The Samaritan copies read, ^Si^'^A yi^/t^^ *TV, ' thy 
j I inhabitant ihall depart jrwn Assur ;* but as this reading bears in- 
(I ternal marks of being accommodated to the national prejudices 
'I of the Samaritans, whose migration from Assyria it is intended 
I [ to commemorate, and as it is opposed to the external testimony 
\ \of all the Hebrew copies, corroborated by all the ancient ver- 
sions, there can be ho doubt, that it is erroneous. For K^ *YV, 
(hd I3f,) Houbigant proposes substituting nionp, rendering the 
passage ' astutia Assur.' In favor of this correction, he appeals 
to the Septuagint ; which reads voQria. «r«vtfpy><»(, in a very aiffe* 
rent sense and construction : and he at the same time objects, 
that HD IP signifies iM^ue quo, and that by the common construc- 
tion ^w», a masculine noun, is made to govern lu^n, a verb in 
the feminine. But to these objections it may be replied, (1) that 
there is an in consequence introduced by the correction into the 
sentence; (2) that the diange must be greater than is proposed; 



In this conjectual emendation , as niQ'W, in the constructive case^ 
must be used for hd ir ; an alteration not likely to occur in the 

primitive character; in which AiiS'W could have been hardly 

substituted for H^ *TV; (3) that no ^y properly signifies te$^r|£« 
quo only in interrogative sentences; and if the sense requires an 
emendation, we may the% adopt, with less violence to the text, 

H^ *yv, until that; for which ^53 *^V might have been easilj^ 
mistaken; (4) that nia^K» as taken for the name of the country, 
is used in the feminine, like it^iD, JergKlviii. 9 :both nouns being 
probably used by an ellipsis of pt^ Wter the analogy of f1« 
^KlD Jer. ibid. 9. In this view, the^eptuagint found no fliffi-, 
culty, in making iw» govern iit^n. - i. 

^^* In this place, the Septuagint inserts i^ Mv rov^Cly: which' 
is not only wanting in the original, and the ancient versions, but 
is rejected from the following copies of the LXX : Cod. VII,XI,; 
16, 30, al. 9. Gompl. On this point however, I lay no stress, 
as the Greek text in these mss. probably follows Ihe Hexapla/ 
which was corrected after the Hebrew. The passage, however,' 
bears internal marks of being an interpolation, fabricated, acr-^ 
cording to the custom of the translators, after the ansdogy; of' 
the preceding passages, vs. 20. jc^ i^uv rov 'AfMcXm : vs. 21. i^Q«»' 
rhf Kevaioy. ' But as these passages are adapted to the stibject,' 
and acknowledged by the context, they form no precedent to* 
justify the interpolation, which is wholly unconnected with' 
either. On the subject of similarity it may be observed, that* 
the fate of Amalek and the Kenite was of very secondary^ inx-i*^ 
portance, in respect to the general object which the prophet had* 
in view. They are accordingly introduced episodically;' and 
mentioned only as presenting themselves to his observation' 
while he spoke. Conformably to this distinction, the mainsubr. 
ject of his prediction is prefaced generally with the ^ords, '^and; 
he took up his parable and said ;" the incidental subject ( of A^r 
malek and the Kenites' fate, with the words, ^' and he .Ippked 
upon Amalek and said " <&c. . As all that follows ' the pAjssage! 
inteipolated in the Septuagint relates to the general subject of; 
the prediction, it is most improperly preceded by such, a pren 

"* For C3»yi, and Ships^ which.-occurs in. the. Hebrew, the. 
Samaritan copies read, uithedd. pers.wg*fuV Hq»hil,of i^XS 


*5a/f iirsrv A^t^ ^tx 

As introductory to the perfect understanding of 
this extraordinary prediction, it is necessary to 
premise> that it was delivered from the top of Pe- 
pr ;"• from whence the Israelites were beheld en- 
camped in the plains of Moab, and an extensive 
prospect was ccnnmanded of the adjacent country. 
When, fiom this station, Balak heard, for the third 
tina^ a benedietion pronounced on his enemies, 
by the prophet whom he had hired to curse them, 

%/B^afWKttt, mil canue them to go, vntt lead them. This read* 
ing, it must be allowed, derives some countenance from the Sep- 
taagblts vho, omitting all mention of ** ships," render the pas- 
9Bge^ iliAi^TM Im xi»^ArvK»'K»«Wi' : consequently taking the Greek 
Yfrib, altar tbeir manner, with the force of the Hebrew Hiphil, 
in eoii99(]^eaee of its beiiiig in the Middle. To this various read- 
ing it mMJ "be ql^ected, (1) that the unfrequency of the word 
^f, pi* O'Y and a>'^t» which is rendered bv Aquila r^ii^p and 
hf ith^ liXX, wM»9P» (Is. xxxiii. 21. Ezek. xxx. 0.), ai^d the 
dMieiiHy of deriving it, as coming from nvj, a verb in ^'|b, 
ntii^t h^Te.oceaaioned the change : (2) that, while the Hebrew 
e^i^,W-e ipiipdn in reading o>yi, the Samaritan, by contra- 
^^tiiig Oft<A otb#r, invalidate their common testimony, some a» 
dolling 4^9 participle OM^yio, andsope the obvioiudy &lse 
f^nji^ng ^^mv ; (0) that the Hebrew reading is fully confirme4 
iqp PWf jfir 3Q. o*n3 0^y» ships of Chittim, resptij^ which| 
mMtif W »» vwiation in the manuscripts or versions, 

^ tit Foff the indtfimCes, X^V, the Samaritan copies, prefixing Qt 
in SoUi plaoes, use widi the same sense, two futures, before the first 
of' whionthey omit the conjanctioH. As in these readings these 
umt only an accommodation to ^be Samaritan dialect, but a. 
iriolalldn of the genius of the Hebrew, which takes^ after ) coft« 
versivo, tie mdef. with the sense of the fiiture, thtn can be lit* 
lie doiAt, that they ore spurious. It seems almost svperflueus 
fcrdier to observe, on the present occasion, that in tb» place 
^rf nittm, in the Hebrew copies, nyM, is substituted, 1jb^» cod. 
ly 184. et 2d6 cod. 129 : and for ^29, in the same text, is subt 
ttituted *11M in cod. 84. and inM in cod. 138. ivhich me very 
vnAdlM atl»mpt8 to avoid ^ supposed difiiaulty of the pasMge. 
51? Num. xxiur28. 

ms : I 111 niMW»m 


the sacred narrative proceeds-^^^''^'* And Batak'd lin- 
ger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his 
hands together : and Balak said unto Balaaln I call- 
ed thee to curse mine enemies, and behold thou 
hast altogether blessed them, Uiese three times. 
Therefote now flee thou to thy plaeej I thou^ 
to promote thee unto great honor t but lo, &e Lord 
ham kept thee back from honor. ** The prophet, 
after pleading his submissivetiess to tib^ mme 
will, in justification of his steady^ uncoraipied ir^- 
tegrity, replies in the following terinil^ ^^Aad 
now, behold, I go unto my people : come ttiei^tt 
^nd t will advertise thee vrh^t this pec^te fifttill dtt 
to thy people in the latter diys. 
^^Aild he uttered his mystic spe66h. Mi hhvi^"^ 

^' The saw^^^ of Balaam, the son of Beor, 

And the saw of the m)aii whose eye is dO$)&d j**' 

iiT Num. xxiv. iO. 

i^d ^f o°^ ^^ place, a new transtatioii is given hf tibe aulhar. 

119 The original, as pointed by tlie Masorets, is Ihiis IitjBra.njr 

rendered; tDy)^ 083 the saying, or * saw of Bileam;^ ClHJI beb^ 

the 6oBstructiye case of the part. Paul of the verb ^X he sai j» 

The liatin^ ^ dixit Balaam,' die Spani^, *dix6 Balaam,' and 
English, * Balcuun hath said,^ ar^ irreconcilabie witk sense : ^ 
Greek, -^ncri BaA«ta|ut ; the Italian 'dice Balaam;' the French, 
< Balaam dft,'*'^atid the German, ' ei^ saget BiIe&m,'haveaToided 
this error, bat do not express the original liie Oriental if^*- 
sioM dffipoS6 of the difiicalty in a dlfi^rent manneri The Ckdl& 
dee adofrting the paraphrastic present, with an ellipsis of the aux- 
0iary verb, reads D^^Il IDi^ * BaJaam (is) saymg;' the Syri* 

ac, adopting the imperative, reads y^v V«rv •^j, ^<6fty BUiMUa/ 

ss also the Arabic, f 1*^ W. iV^' * say, O Balaain.' 

120 The verb onu^, which occufs in the original, signifies he 
closed: the passage is accordingly rendered in the Vulgate, ' cu-^ 
Jus obturatus est oculus ;' by Arias Montanus, after Pagnini, * jir 
occlums oculo ;' by Houbigaht, ' qui dausos habet bciilos,' by JDi- 
ddati, '-c'harocchiocAiww,' and by Scio, * cuyo ojo est^ cerra<fe/ 
One Hebrew ins, cod. 199. adopting DnD, puts the sense o'lit cf 


- ' The saw of him who heard the word of 6od,> 
And knew^^* the knowledge of the Highest ; 
Who beheld the vision of the Almighty, 
Falling [en-tranced], and being illumined^^* in sight. 
I shall see^^^ Him, but not now ; 

difl{>ute, as this verb is assigned no other meaning : yid. Buxtorfl 
Lex. c. 1559. The Samaritan, English, French and German, 
which take t)ie word in the sense of open, are positively wrong ; 
the Septuagint, to dispose of their doubts, which sufficiently in- 
ediate the true sense of the passage, adopt a bold paraphrase, 
which, if it does not suit the text, is atleast accommodated to the 
context; o Je}\,fAkifSi o^«y. The same observation may be extend- 
ed to the Chaldee, nn n*£)Q^i, which expresses the same sense : 

to.which the Arabic nearly conforms, ^^A^t 4>u<XtfV3>^a^t * the 
man of clear vision :' and from which the Syriac does not very far 
recede n ii.v j-\ .j < whose eye is illumined/ The importance 
of Ibis rendering for which Bp. Newton contends, ubi supr. p. 
76. vrill be manifested in the sequel. 

^^^ If the reading 2^1 V be adopted, the sense will be, '* and 
made known.'*^ 

*** The participle Paul »i^j, from n^J, properly means unco- 
vered, revealed: and in this sense it seems necessary to under- 
stand it, in order to avoid a contradiction with verse 15. < whose 
eye b closed,' The proper force of the term is accordingly ex- 
pressed in the Samaritan, ^ttt^^Vi HtZI^,' illumined in eyes;' 
in the Septuagint, civoKSKA^vfAfASPOi ol of^aXfAo) avra ; and by A- 
rias Montfuius, * discoopertus oculis : the sense of the phrase 
being accurately expressed in the Chaldee paraphrase rr*^ ^^^no, 
'it having been revealed to him." The Vulgate of Jerome, 
which is followed by Diodati and Scio, contains a contradic- 
tion; in the Syriac, wOiqiaI. f^Avr * having his, eyes open, 
and the Arabic wliich uses the singular, with the same sense, 

/^jj^t ^y^ y^^ and in the Prench, English and German, 
u& error is indeed avoided, but both the opposed terms are mis- 
translated in these versions. 

^^ The rendering of the Septuagint seems to affect the au- 
thority of this important text ; as it recedes so far from the on- 
ginaly as to justify a suspicion, that it may have arisen in a diffe- 
rent reading from that contained in the existing editions : uk*ik 
mp «^i mw« nny «^i. This passage is thus rendered by 
these translators, ^s»|a; avru, t^ «%» wv, f/Mxafii^u t^ ex, iyyt^a, * I 
shall shew to him; but not noW; \ felicitate mm and he does not 


I shall behold him, but not near : 
A 3tar shall proceed^^* out of Jacobs 

approach/ But the integrity of the text is wholly unaffected by 
this translation ; as the sense here ascribed to it has been obyious* 
ly extracted from the present reading. If naaiK be taken as the 
future of Hiphil n^in, to cause to see, to shew, instead of as the 
future of Kal, r^)^'^, to see, and iitr^b^ as the future of nuTK, to bless, 
instead of that oiirw, to see, it will produce the sense ascribed to 
the text by the Greek translators. The natural force of the pas- 
sage may be^ however, supported by the highest authority. A- 
quila, a Jew, eminently skilled in the Hebrew, renders it, in the 

received sense, oif^ojxai alrlv jc^ h vt>y, vpoa-MTru avrh aXX' vk lyyvq ; 
Symmachus, who bore the same character, renders the latter part 
of it, opw avrov uKk' ^k lyyvq ; St. Jerome also, in the same sense^ 
' mdebo eum, sed non modo, intuebor ilium, sed non prope ;* Pa- 
gnini,likewise, following the pointed text,'videbo eum et non nunc» 
mtuebor eum et non prope ;' and Houbigant the unpointed,' mde- 
bo eum sed non modo, ego eum cantemplabor, sed remotum.* 
And the same sense is adopted, with one consent, by the author^ 
of the Italian, Spanish, French, English and German versions. 
Of theOrientol versions, it must be allowed, that the Samaritan, 

only expresses the force of the tense, t^^ /fZlK ^iflf^^it 

^m^W /S-IX ^'yei^^/f, « I«^//*e6hun but nol now, I **«/?«?- 
lebrate him, but not near ;' of course making "^^m», the future of 
1W : the Chaldee adopts the indefinite, n»n»iD tra «h n»n»tn 
^np min*» »b^, I have seen him, but not now, I beheid him but he 
is not near;' and the Syriac, Jlo oiZ^^wO o,^ -2o flo oiA*Vm 
•i^^ \JD ]oai9 1 have 9eeithim,butnotforalong whi^I have be- 
held him, and he is not nigh :' but the Arabic wholly departing 

from the sense, reads, Aalrl^ (jS^^ ^^y^y^ y^ U^^ V^^ i?/^ 

t'-^-^jS j^ jjb^ ' I see the affair, and it is not existing now, I 
behold it, 'and it is not near.' But the sense in these versions 
has every appearance of being accommodated to the prejudices 
of th e translators! 

*•* Although ^*T^ is written without i conversive, yet in conse- 
quence of being coupled by that conjunction with a number of 
verbs to which it gives a future sense, it is properly taken in the 
future. In this sense, it is accordingly rendered almost with one 
consent in the versions. The original Hebrew, ap]?»D 1313 im, is 
thus paraphrased in the Chaldee of Onkelos, ipr^D »3^D Dip n3 
* when a king shall arise from Jacob ;' but rendered in the Syriac, 
-^igtoC v> j^^^^ t^watJ? ' there shall arise a star out of Jacob :' 

" ' ' '' ' H 



A sceptre shall rise out of Israel, 

And shall break the Termini^^^ of Moab, 

«Ad in thie 
jiball proceed 

Arabic Uj^jpuu ^\ ^^ v^&jjT JiXtw ^1, ' for a sfar 
led out of 'Jacob ;' or if the pointed tejLt be followed^ 

J ^o^ 

.* shall he Meniy as uiXta^. is pointed in the future passive.^ The 
^Samaritauy is however, dissentient, in which the phrase is ren- 

<dered, d¥ VHT^ ^iSTiS V^T/F, * he cauted a star to proceed from 

Jacob f V^'KfS' being used in the indefinite Aphel of V\/f» 
In the Western versions, the future is generally adopted. The 
Greek reads, in the common sense, avoIsXir as-fow $( 'lattuff; as 
also the Latin, ' arietur stellaex Jacob.* The Italian likewise 
coincides, ' una stella praeederd da Jacob :' and the Spanish, 

-' de Jacob HacerS una estrella ;' as also the German, * es wird 
ein stern aus Jacob aufgehen',^ and the English, ^ there shaU 

*eome a star out of Jacob:' the French is inde^ dissentient, * une 

^ile esiprocidie de Jacob/ but its voice will not avail much, 
against such a host of suffrages* 

' ^^ The commentatoirs, who render IMIO *fiMB fnoi, ** and 
win smite the princes of-M oab,'' are reduced to sad strainings 

•to extract the sense of princes from o^mb, which signifies cor- 
hers. This sensie is adopted not only in the Chaldee, hmpn 

. nMio *ini*i, * and will slay the princes of Moab ;' but in th^ 
Greek, t^ ^^ava-u le^ ipx^ylii Muuff, * ahd will wound the rulers 
of Moab;' and in the Latin, 'et percutiet dii4ies Moab.' The 

, Syriac offers a different sense, ^^aJQi^j Jlojl^^J^ |^qjo>' and will 
destroy the giants of Moab ;' and the ISani^itan, following a 

different reading, ^At^ *niA!^ ^Hl*^^, ' will transfix the fool- 
iskones of Moab :' but the Arabic renders it, with more accura- 

cy ^^L.< Cl>l4^ C^>t^» * ^^'^ debilitate the regions of Moab/ 
or, as the passage is rendered by Symmachus^ vaian HXifAuret 
Mudp, * will smite the iregions of Moab." The first of these 
translations, which appears to have> arisen from confounding 
ife^io ^n»i) with i^io nnn, Esdr. ii. 6. viii^ 4. Neh. iii. 11. is 
wholly untenable. It is notwithstanding adopted, after the ex- 
ample and authority of the Septuasint and Vulgate, in almost 
all the modern versions ; in the Italian, ^trasfiggedi i princitd 
di Moab / in the Spanish, * herira d los caudiUos (will smite tne 
chiefs) de Moab;' in the French, ' transpercera les chefs de 
Moab ;' in the German, * wird zerschmettern die FUrsten der 
Moabiter.' To all these the literal rendering of the English is 
to be prefeiTcd, ' shall smite the comers of Moab / which receives 
illustration and support from 2 Chron. jxxriii. 2. 24. Pagnini^ 


And destroy i«« all Uie Sethites.^^^ 

however^ appears to ine to have expressed more aocurately IbaB 
any of the trandatprs, the qieanibg of ttus curious passage ; ' et 
tramfiget termino9 Moab;' which Anas Montauus rejects for 
the more literal version, ' et transfiget angulos Moab/ of which 
}, cannot discover thie sense* 

. ^ If the reading of the Saaiaritan "^V^Vt he adopted^ the 
vendering should tl^n be, ^ wiU smite the Terminibf Mo^h,an4 
the er&wn of the aons of Seth.' But against this reading it re^ 
mains further to be stated, that it is obvious it was not. found l^ 
the copies from which the principal versions have beeij made. 
The Greelc, xj 9r^Qyo/AEi^(r<», the, Latin, * vastabitque,' with the same 
sense, have obviously proceeded from Pihel ^p*^p^ of the verb 
*l1p: and they sufficiently establish the antiquity of this reading 
in the Hebrew^. The same observation may be extended, with 
some^ains of allo^iQ^nce, to the Chaldee toiW^l, and will sub- 
due f to tfee Syriac, ^bii-iLJO, * and will subjugate ;' and to the 

Arabic, S^j-i^f '^^d will shake,' \!i4iich have obviously not de^ 
acended jroni ipipi. , The version of Symmsuchus,i|f^t;y4<r6i, ^ will 
investigate,' seen^ derived froni npni ; as its au&or possibly 
i^pposei} the ifjebrew ought to re^d : forthfiis he has rendered the 
sapie irerh, Jn Ps. xxxiii. 22, Prov. :^xv. 27. vid. MoQtbue. 
HexfipL in loq. The copy from which he translated musthav^ 
CGtnsequepily ponformed rather to the reading of the Hebrew 
ihlEW we Samaritan recension. ^ 

.1^ As ^MB^' »4a means Jsarq/elStes^ rw ua m^^s^ Sethitea^ 
The term TVO in the passage before us. Num. xxiv. 17. is writ7 

ten, in the pointed Hebrew» as the patriarch's uagne. Gen. v. 4 : 
both are translated accordingly'; being rendered m the Sep- 
<»iagii}|;, £J»$, ai|d in the Vulgate, SeUi* The authors of thd 
^hal^ee. Pairapltirasts affd .Jerusalem Targum pronrcA by then: ver-^ 
sion, that they und^srstood ijt of the patriarch; tfie Qnejnterpret-^ 
ing x\m ua^ as ^fJl the sons .o^anej^; the other, as 'all the Ori-^ 
en^ali^U,. who wiere poperly descendants of Se^h. The woi^d 
is ac<:prdii^y adopted with this ort^ogriiphy^ aqt only by Hpu- 
bigant following the i^^inted Hebrew, and by Pagnini fol- 
lowing lih« {jointed, foijkt in the Syndic, 9^h|ct leiuls bsM^ 9sA in 

tlie AreAMc, which reads cr.'. ^» » ; and by the authors of the 

French, Spanish and German versions. The Italian, indeed , rea^^ 
ders it, ippt as a pc^^r, but a common «ame, ' i fi§liuoli di fon." 
damen^o ;' and the English, altering its orthography without apj^ 
authority, renders it, * all tiie sons of ShetW 

H 2 



And Iduinea shall be a possession. 

And Seir shall be a possession of his foes : 

And Israel shall do [deeds of] might:^*® 

He [that] shall nile^^^ [shall be] from Jacob, 

And shall destroy hhn that survives of the city/'^"^ 

^^ The yeruons in rendering this passage, are opposed with 
one consent, to the Chaldee in which it is rendered; n^ir* ^mtt^^l 
1*03 J3» 'and Israel shall prosper in goods;' in the Syriac, it is 
translatedj^LiA^ |toi ^IjjbuJo, ^and Israel shall acquire might;' 

in the Arabic, UXjt ^^^}\ J^.V^l^ * ^^<1 Israel shall encrease in 
inight ; ' in the Samaritan ZHlHEl *raX7 Z A'S***/!!^, * and Is- 
rael shall do [deeds of] might :' in the Septuagint, n^ 'I(rpa^^ Ivoi- 
mQkv h IcyQtiy *• and Israel did in might :' in uie Latin, ' Israel 
vero fortiter aget :' in the Itahan, ' ed Israel fark prodezze ;' in 
the Spanish, ^ mas Israel procederd esforzdamente ;' in the 
French, ' et Israel agira Yailmmment :' in the German, * Israel 
aber vrird Sieg haben ;' (have victory) ; and in the English^ 
' and Israel shall do valiantly.' 

^^ The Septuagint renders this passage, nL tltyt^i^Qfra^ ■{ 
*lajiup9 * and he shall arise from out of Jacob;' deriving the He- 
brew *i*in, from the verb *in*, to descend, mstead of nnn to rule. 
And in this rendering, they are generally countenanced by the 
Oriental versions, which adopt the verb nnJ, Aaaj; of which Bux- 
torf declares. Lex, Chald. c. 1330. ^^ pro Hebr«o *in* usurpa- 
tum." Thus the Chaldee 2rp» n»aiD in ninn, * and one shall 
descend from the house of Jacob ;' the Syriac ^*^or>v , v^ V ^r yf^y^ 

* and he shall descend fromJacob ;' and the Samaritan, AV^fttX 
dTVnr^y with the same sense. The Arabic, however, coin- 
cides with the.Westem versions, rendering the passage, . if 3Jt^ 

',j fj**J i^ jff^ iy^*^ * ^^^ ^^ ^^^ '^^ ^^"^ ^™ Jacob 
stiall ' ^c. Thus also the Vulgate, * de Jacob erit qui demmetur ; 
the Italian, 'ed uno disceso di Jacob ^^more^^rer^;' the Spanish, 
de Jacob saldrd el que domine;* the French, *et celui qui domr 
inera viendra de Jacob;' the German, 'aus Jacob wird der 
Herrscher kommen ;' and the English, * out of Jacob shall come 
he that shall have dommian:^ in which, by a singular coincidence, 
these versions, by means of the auxiliary verb which they em- 
ploy, express both the roots from which the Hebrewverb is de- 
duced. ' • 

' ^'^ This passage is rendered, in the same sense, by the Sep- 
tuagint jc^ uvomT cruf^ofAttof U w6><tvi ; and by St. Jerome, < et per- 


6T a great liElIVEltER. 53 

And he beheld the Amalekite^ and uttered his mys- 
tic speech, and said ; 

^' The Amalekite is the head of the natioiis^ 
But his end^^^ is [appointed] for destruction/' 

And he beheld the Cainite^** and uttered his mys* 

det reliquias civitatis : by the Chal4^» M^DIM^ nnpP in^tt^C^iaVYf 
' and will destroy him tluit escapes of the city of the people ;^ by 
the SyriaCy }A«i0 ^ a^ioAA^y ]iJIJi «.OQjOy * and will destroy 

him that escapes from the city ;' and by the Arabic,<Xi^MJt «Xax{ 

C^j^^ (*^^ ' ^^ destroy the fugitiye from the cities.' which 
sufficiently authenticates the received reading, by establishing 
its antiquity and general reception, 

^*^ The beptuagint renders this passage, jc; t^ ^^^f^ avrSf 
(avrS) awXtTrett, * and his seed shall be de8tro3red ;' taking nnnH 
in a sense vdiich it is frequently assigned. But independant of 
the antithesis between that word and n^VMl, which is lost in this 
Tersion; the common rendering accords bett^ with Exod. xyii« 
14. and is generally followed in the versions. The Latin expres- 
ses ^ cujus extrema;\ the Chaldee n>BiDi, * and hb emf/ jdie Sy** 

riac, a\L^A^9 the Arabic, \j^js^^, and the Samaritan /^ WIT, 
the same sense : ofihe modem versions, the Italian 'e'lsuoiima* 
uentef the Spanish, * cnysa pdstremaias ; and the English, * his 
latter end: but, witii an adverbal force, ike French, ' mais d in 
^/Sii,'' and the German, 'aber2w/!elzf.' 't 

^** This name is' variously rendered in the dtfferentrvenions. 

In the primitive character, l^ffTF, and iii the liiipbinted Hebrew 
fp; it differs not from the name of the first son of Ad|pi. Ac- 
cording to the Masoretical pointing, these nSm^^SE^r merely as 
]pp from ^ ; both of which are rendered Cotit, by Pagnmi and 

Arias Montanus, who scrupulously follow, in the rendering of 

S roper names, tiie orthography of the Masorets. , JBy the Chal- 
ee paraphrast, the Hdbrew phrase, U*p hM Mm, * and he be- 
held the Camite,' is rendered hmoVb^ n* Mtni, * and he beheld the 
SalamcBont which is transferred to the Jerusalem Targum, i^oni 
VCD^m t)\ . Those who render the phrase * and he ^held the 
KeAite/ are of course deserted by ue authority of these antient 
versions ; the authors of which have obviously adopted this term 
from pbo in the context, ']ip yVoi o^u^i, * and put thy nest in a 
rock,' where there is a palpable play upon the name. ■ The Sep- 
tuagint, employing the term, KtvaTov, or KtmToPf and the Vulgate 




*' Secure is thy habitation^ 

And puttbon thy nestm aroci ; 

i33Yet'tl»^ Cainiteis [jrefienred] for desib^ction | 

life ii&m Oinasug, to 'well in the paoBSjge before as, Num. xxit. 
21. as in Jud. i. 16.^ 1 Sam. xy. 6. support the opinion of those 
<ndjr who unddrstiuid tt us meant of llie Kemim. But to pie-> 
m&tv^ dUBtr consistenov, minehiduig 4kia people in the nnprqpi- 
Itoas denuneiatidils of B^aaju, which cannot he easily reconci^ 
1q4 vfilb .the last cited passages of scripture, they are compelled 
to misrepresent the originja) : the Septuagint omitting to render 
me nap^e J'p tnihe contex:t;yid. infr. n.^** As the modem ver- 
fSons hare been obviously accoynmodated to ^ antient, their 
testimony necessarily resolyes into th^t of the Greek and Latin : 
^t ^Cfani' occurs in the Freuch tmd Italian, and * Rain' in the 
O^rman. yid. infir. n.*** 
in <i^^ original of these yers^s is rendered in the Septuagint, 

*ttnd if BeorshaU nave a nest of craft, the Assyrian shall take 
ttnejb cajpiiye ;* from, whence It would appear, that instead pf nw 
|ff»'*iy f p^ll?:A they read, nvnif ]p iiyi% mn»; As this reading is 
vKSapjpflkediifrMry ystsibOL or iHs. It is umtecesiKiry to* bestow 
upoitAttn^fuitiisrnoiicd. Tlie Vulgate, deidatiag from the 
6iieel&/^reMsr8 the sasne paaM^e, ^ et mias electusde stripe Cin, 
lyaaiDi^tpotecispernMAiere ? Afisur enim cmpietie ;^ whidb indi- 
cates that the translator found in his copy, or beUeyed he ought 
ti» ted^^M ^nmm >rT» np \*p '^tnao mm oi^ *a, ^ if be shall be 
^^:cf^ ^iMp ho)iF ii^^g.? for the Assyrian' S^fis Asthis,read« 
ug^ ecjiiaUy imsiqpportod, wifh ithat appaxently followed in the 
^[^ek,* }t is mtike .unentitied to notice. As both yersions furnish 

S\ j n gh:^' ^yjdfence, ^at the Kenite cani^ot be nvei^t, while 
e readinj^ "^vih^far de^iructim, is retained ; this phrase is used 
Tititii^uch a jsiense in scr^ture, (see Isl y. $. yi. 13.) and is as- 
^ij^ed.tfae same force, in the yersions of the J>assage before us; 
in.%e €ifaald(^e^ ttv^phm rTHy»wV»m p«, * if the galm^an be (te- 
s^&iy f or p$rMtipk ;^ in Are Syriafe, followmg the sound rather 
Afm t^e sense, ^o j'^ /^^V |oou X * if Cain be (jijeserved) for 
fli^.^foaw%/ih^e Samaritan, t^fHTZ W^W SJA^ A^W 
^nrr, ^ though Cain be (re^rye/d) for e&navmw^ .*' a^ it .likewise 
13 as»gned m the principal ^npdern yersions ; in the Italian, ' ma 
pur Cain sari dUertata ;* in the French, 'toutefois, Cain aera 
ram^if i# th^ German^ * aber o Kain, du wirst verfframt 


Until the Assyriaoa shall take thee captiye. ''^^ 

And he uttered his mystic speech, and said ; 

" Alas I who shall live when God [appointeth] this ? 
For [there shall be] ships**^ from the side**^ of Citimn, 

ioene2ett;'aiid in the Englishy 'iieirertheles0 tbe Kei^ Aatt be 
wastedJ The Arabic, though paraphrastic, appears to have o- 

riginated in the sattie reading, ^^jaaaaJOY ^^iUI < V »»j^ u>« ^^^3 

aXjLo9 ' and when the time shall be for expelling the Kenites 
from you/ 

^'* In the Samaritan this passage is rendered, <\1^***^555 *5Vi^ 

i$At*\^V, * thy return from Assur is a witness :' and in the 

Arabic, with a direct application to the Kenites, a^^ CL^^^' 

o>i^^^ * ^^^ Musoleans (or Assyrians) shall take Jrom them 
eapliyes.' But in this rendering they are opposed to the com* 
mon consent of the versions; to the Greek and Latin, uti supr. 
h.***. to the Chaldee, ^i^m^ n^niiifc^ no iy, 'whilever the As- 
syrian shall make thee captive;' to the Syriac, joZU I^.S 
yio^Mj, until Assur shall lead thee captive ;' to tile Italian^ 
' infino attanto ch' Assur ti men! in cattivit^ ;* to the Spanish, 
*pues Assur te apreserd;' to the French, /jusqu* & ce qu' As- 
sur te mene en captivity ;^ to the German ' wenn Assur dich ge-* 
fangen wegfiihren wird;' and to the English^ ^ until Assur shall 
carry thee away captive/ 

135 The moaem versions, are corroborated by the Chaldee 
and the Latin, in rendering ihb passage ; the former renders it, 
inntot* |)^*Dl, * and ships shall come ;' the latter, * veniient }n tri- 
eribus:^ so also the Italian, * poi appresso (veranno) natd:* the 
Spanish, ' vendriil mgaUrasi* the French, ^ et destMiisteaiiaivi^ 
endront;' the German, ^ und Sckiffe/ and the £ngli»b» *and| 
Ships shall come/ But the Greelk renders it, iJ^BXiva-trai, ' he 
shall come forth ;' the Syriac, r^q%^ jjOa^^jAo, * and legi&ns shall 

come from;* the Samaritan, ^/fHtinXttt, 'he shall lead them;' 

and the Arabic, (^^Jf^J^^^y* ^^ ikoBe who riiall betake tbem/ 
1^ Thus I conceive the passage is most justly rendered; the 
idiom formed in Hebrew by the term v, hand, being in many 
cases analogous to that formed in JBngli^ by the term side^ 
Thus 1 Sam. iv. 13. yn i*, the hand ^ the to£^, is justly ren" 
dered, in the English version, * the way-^ide;' and Ibid. 18. i* 
"^pmn, the hand yf the gate, as justly, * the side of the gate / 9j:« 
amples of the same idiom ]i»ay be found in Peut, ii« 37« Pi^v^ 


And shall vex the Assyrian, and vex the Hebrew ;^^ 
And he also [is reserved } for destruction. 

Even while this prophecy is regarded through 
tlie medium of a servile translation, divested of its 
idioms, and separated from those local and heredi- 
tary associations, which rendered its subject fami- 

viii. 3. Dan. x. 4. Of the aaciejit reraoiis, this term is trans^ 
ferred into the text of the Samaritan ; and wholly omitted in the 
Chaldee ; in the Syriac it is translated \.»^i \Li] ^J^» ' from 

Ihe land of Chittim/ and in the Arabic, u^^xS ^/^ (j^ * f''om 
the port of Cyprus ;^ to which the Italian nearly conforms, ' dalla 
costd di Chittim,' and the English, * from the coast of Chittim* 
The Chaldee »Mn3D, *from. the Cithians/ and the German, *aiu 
Chitim,' though less explicit, express too much ; the French, 

* du quartier de Kittim ' appears to me to have most faithfully 
rendered the passage. 

^^ In the Chaldee paraphrase, this passage is rendered with 
a manifest accommodation to the national prejudices of the He- 
brews; ma iijy^ inirnmn *Tin«^ pjrn, *and will afBict Assy- 
ria, and subjugate beyond the river Euphrates ;' which renderings 
18 transplanted into the Targum of Jonathan. As, from the 
apposition of Eber and Assur, in the Hebrew, both terms must 
be taken with the same sense ; in this translation the original is 
grossly misrepresented. It is accordingly rejected by the com- 
mon suffrage of the versions, ancient and modem. In the Sep- 
tuagint the passage is accordingly rendered, x^ iiaxvav<rt9 'aov^^, 
jc^ xaxiavai9 Efi^aiaq; in the Vulgate, 'superabunt Assyrios, vas- 
tabuntque Hebriaeos;^ in the Syriac .o«^xLa40 >oZ|I jo«^xLa40 

I -^^v Vf * and shall subdue Assur, and subdue the Hebrews; ' in 

the Samaritan, SSV ^l^^SZnn: "W^ffty^e^lltt/ shall afflict 

Asshur, and shall afflict Eber ;' and also in the Arabic^ < ^.mViti 

ijryift'^^^ u^t^"^^^'' *^^^ afflict the Assyrians and the He- 
orewsr by Pagnini and Arias Montanus, * etaffligent Assur, et 
affligent Heber i by Houbigant, * oppriment Assur, oppriment 
J9e6r<etfm.'. It is likewise taken in the same sense by the com- 
mon suffrage of the modern versions : in the Italian, ^ ed afflig- 
geranno Assur, ed oppresseranno .Efter;' in the Spanish, * vencer- 
^n k los Assirios, y destniirdn k los Hebr^os ;' in - the French, 

* et ils affligeront Assur et Heber ;' in the German, * werden 
verderben den Assur und Eber;* and in the £ngKsh| ^ and shall 
afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber.' 

-- ■ m^ W-» ...i^J^. 

t)F A 6kiA* DfeLXVlEREE. t? 

iar to tlife peir^ons, who ^ere imiiifediately address- 
ee by its author, it rharks out the extraordinary 
personage to whom thfe prediction applies, in d 
manner too explicit to be long mistaken. So ob- 
vious is it in its application, that the earlier Jews, 
whose sentence is valuable in proportion to its an- 
tiquity, exclusively recognised the expected Mfes- 
1^1^, in the prophetical declaration ; 

I shall 560 him, but nqt nowj^ 
' I shall behold him, but not near:^^ 

Many of their later commentators havfe indeed 
discovered in it k different force, and have assign-* 
^d it a different application, in which they havier 
succeeded in gaining over some followers, where 
it seems strange they should have made any pro- 
selytes.^*^ It would be, however, attended with 
little diflSculty to prove, from a view of the entire 
scheme of Prophecy, and the history of the nations 
Whose fortunes it predicts, that it was wholly per- 
t^rted from its object, in receiving any application 
to Divid ; in whom it is supposed the prediction 
was primarily, and of course, properly accom- 

^^ In {he IVrgrnn of Jerasalem the above-cited passage ia^ 
miraphrased in the following words; ^<A Prince shall arise 
Sfom the house of Jacob, and a Redeemer and ruler from the 
fionse of Israel, and shal! slay the mighty ones of Moab, and 
dtfnihilat^ and destroy irfll tU ims of the East." In the T^rgum 
^f Jonathan it is paraphrased <ls follows ; <' When a brave 
Priocer shall reign of the house of Jacob, and shall be anointed 
K(^ia6, and a mighty sceptre from Israel, and slay the rulers 
6t Moab, and annihila^ all the sons of Seth " &c. In the an- 
iS^tii Tafgum of Onk^ldii it iis iitterpreted in' the sii^nle sense. 

^^ R. Salom. Jarchi in loc. understands the passage of Da* 
tid ; }il this i^w of the pbo^h^y it is less wonderful to find the 
j^^tat6^ JiiKan eottcat, Oper. Tom. I. p. 262. a. than die 
Rt; Rev; atithbr of the Dissert, on Prophefcy, who contends for 
thfe pfinUttg ittppHcmum df iStk prophecy to the same numarch:- 
N«Wt. Wwrkd, Vol; I. p. 80.. 



plished. A small share of attention, directed to 
the original cause which occasioned the predic- 
tion« to the ultimate object at which it aims, and 
to the circumstances under which it was deliver- 
ed, will enable us to form a just estimate of the 

As the original cause which occasioned the de- 
livery of Balaam's prophecy was the recent in- 
road of the Israelites, on the borders of Moab ; 
the ultimate object of his prediction is their capti* 
vity and removal from that territory by a more 
powerful people ; for whom a like fate was reser- 
ved to that which they had inflicted. In making 
this disclosure, the prophet met the views, and 
replied to the requisition of the king of ]Vf oab, 
whose apprehensions at the advancement of so 
formidable an enemy on the borders of his territo- 
Tv, had first led him to engage the enchanter of 
rethor, to employ his art, in the destruction of 
the invaders. But with the fate of Israel, the for- 
tunes of Moab were inseparably connected. The 
Assyrians having been made the instruments of 
the judgments which were reserved for the Is- 
raelites ; the direct road to the invasion of their 
territory lay through the dominions of Moab. And 
at the period when this prediction received a 
signal accomplishment, in the captivity and de- 

{)ortation of ten tribes, and the utter subversion of 
he throne of Israel ; the Assyrians commenced 
their operations against that kingdom, with the 
subjugation of the Moabites, having wasted their 
territories, and dismantled their cities.^*** As this 

^^ The circumstances which attended the final disBolution 
of the kingdom of Israel,, are thus succinctly stated by Abp. 
Ussher ; Annal. p. 6d. ad A. M. 3280. *' Shalmaneser hav* 
ing discovered the conspiracy of Hosea» Jirii oetmpied the tier* 
riiarjf ofikeMiHihiie* (that he mi^ht leave nothing in bis rear. 


xt^ms an event of paramount interest to that nation,^ 
whom Balaam immediately addressed; it is ac*^ 
cordingly selected by him, a$ the principal subject 
which he had to reveal, in giving them an insight 
into futurity. " Come," he declares to the king 
of Moab, ** and I will advertise thee, what this 
people shall occasion to thy people, in the latter 

Not less intimately connected with the object 
which the prophet had in view was the advent of 
that expected Personage, to whose coming he 
first directs the attention of his hearers, on promis- 
ing to disclose the disastrous consequences, with 
which the establishment of the new settlers in 
their borders would be finally attended. In the 
common calamity in which Moab would be invol- 
ved with Israel, the evils inflicted by Assyria o- 
perated as a scourge, to reclaim and to chastise 
them in their common apostacy ; redemption and 
protection having been offered, through that 
Great Deliverer, whose kingdom would finally tri- 
umph over the people who should subjugate Israel 

'which would be detrimental to hts forces,) having cut off their 
two chief cities, Ar and Kir-hareseth ; according to the pro- ■ 
phecy of Isaiah, delivered the Uiird year before the event. He 
then invaded the entire kingdom of Israel: and going up against 
8amaria, in the fourth year of Hezekiah and the seventh of 
Hosea, then commencing; besieged it for three years. At the 
end of the third year of the siege, Shalmaneser look Samaria, 
and carried away the Israelites^ and placed them tf» Malaeh^ 
and Habor, and Nehar ^ozen, (where Tiglathpileser had trans^ 
planted the two tribes and a half which inhabited Perea be-, 
yond Jordan), and tn the cities of the Medes. For the anarchy 
which prevailed among the Modes, before the royal authoiitj 
was committed ta Dejoces afforded the Assyrians the oppor- 
tunity of occupying their cities. • « • And thus ended the kmgdom 
^Uraelf after it had remained 254 years separated from that 
kiBgicm of Judah*^' 

I 2 



linage Avould be n.ot^ I^ss si^ally marked by< th^ 
cfeiktruction of hii^ enemies, thaa by the deliverance) 
^ his adherents ; the former having bf^en th^e. tela?, 
tipn in which the Moabites had placed t^fs^^e^v^, ; 
I^y their depraved habits and idolatrous worship,^ 
tliey had rendered themse^lyes obnoi^i<;^us to hjj^ 
vengeance. Such was the light in which thjgjr 
were prepared by the prophet to expe(^ bisi af ri- 
Vftl : his power would be dii^played in the. subvert, 
i^on of the idols, and tl^e destruction of the idola-, 
ters, — ^he >yould '' break the Termini ofl Moab» and 
4esti*oy all the Setliites/' 

With the leading object which Balaam had in 
view, he interweaves the fate qf tiie different peo- 
ple whom he beheld from the elevated situation to. 
which Balak h^d conducted him, to survey the. 
encampment of Israel. The foi^unes of these na.*. 
tions had an obvious connexion with the fate of 
l^is people, with whom they were connected npi 
merely by die geographical position of their terri- 
tpri^Sji and the participation in tiie sam^ rit^s and^ 
worship, but by the ties of consanguinity. M oab 
traced its ^iginal to^ Lot ; Edpm and Amalek^ as 
ithe descendants of Esau, were also coll2>terally de- 
scended, from the same stock with the chilflrenqf 
Jlsrael* As these nations, were viewed from the 

^«V Tbe defectioQ of Uiq. I«raelites tp tb^ worshif, of iBfif^i 

^,uid their disregard of the propheto. w)io wi^^ sept tA^reclajiQ,, 

Wl^m fr<M» their jdolatry are st^Uic^^tp have heen, the, qwua^jQCv 

AtiieS; deportatioa and; captivity.: % Kiog;a» xjrii* 4H:)8- Viki 

prp^et9» Isaiah and Jetemiah, vho. utt«M;ed.pQrtic^)»t pi:Pdi»r, 

' tiom. againn the Mpa^ilei^ Hpkaid tbif people .^itb,t^ir4R^« 

votion to tbje.saioeJdQlato9U9:^Q(fAlip^: la, a^vi, lft» Jf^, xi^^ 

;a&. By lsaiah» y^hoB^, propbwy, Vif^ii deli jji^tlw»*Wb 
' before, the ^rriikpry. of MpeK^^Jaiil* WiuM»^%i ii»* A^miis^ 

she was '' exhorted to yield obedience to Chia»fa^ViPgifa^<a?>t 
rid. Is. xvi. 3 — 5. 

. '» • " ^ 

l^i^ta of KqkH ths Ii»^it«k W«rft ^^l^^^i ^r* 
qamped in 1^ ptoku of M^akb; In^o%4 i4§j6 1^8$., 
4ers> d^MoQJbitea e^^teiKlfidi tb^^^elyo^ ^l^g ^ 
Imnks of Amon^;' sjtitt ftu^t^ii «im^.t]»«« !^^ 
extended l^iiisdves.aloii^thdJi^ 
afid beyond their tendton€^the. AiQiiW^itQ^ ij^j^^? 
ing nokhyrard to thei &ea, ooQy|ii.ed tbe. i^W^c^^. 
diote- oountey/ betv^eea !^xlom anji Eg^pi^ By) 
these natioQS) the entice, trsu^t tiH:Qugh whi<^<tk€^ 
route of the^ Israelites kiy» in. seeking ih^\f 4^$tin 
nation m Canaan, wa& consequently^ OQcupied :: , 
and they had severally become implicated wi^ 
the ei^iffra][ft nation, in denying them a passage 
through tlj^elfi teri;itori'es ; the Amalekites having' 
opppp^(i theiif progre^a by force, o^ ann3."*^ Xk% 
prophet, 'who beheld theqairom tbe eleV;a^e4 PQsIt) 
tion where he viras placed , was thus afforded aa 
pppqrtunity to connect their dfestiny with the fpr- 
typi^of L^l, ^hicfh hp was emplpy^^ ii». 4is9to- 
sing. Suitably to the disposition, whi<;h tbj^y hs^4 
displc^yed towards this people, such* i^ould bei 
their retribution. While " a ruler of the house of 
Jacob i^fluld have the, dominion, Mpaji s^hpuld bj^^ 
afflicted in its. remotest boundaries, Edom i^hpui^ 
be the possession of its enemies^ smdi Amalek ba 
reserved fpr utter destruction-" 

Nordoes the prophet IpavqiJ: matter of cpnjeqtpre 
that the period: was: diSit^^t,. at w^ich. the pre4tp* 
tipn would receive its signal accomplishment. In^ 
avowing the object with which he addressed the 
l^ing of ]VJpab/he,4^9larei?,^thg.t^^ consequences 
ofi which, hei adi^iaedj Wm* mi:qkI4 <3lP<?Air • ifr thjB 
latter days^'^' "yT^f^' understood^ ei^an ii^. the 
la^^est sc^^e, th^^se ^prds must have^ naariced the. 

»<«. Qo^i^ .^?^i^f »W ®f ""^t ^^™' *^ ^'*" ^?- "i*» i^%^^*' 

Deut. ii. 4. 8. 9. 

.!>.-. .i(i 



decline of one or both of the nations, whose iutare 
destinies the prophet professes to reveal. With 
this specific signification they had been long used; 
the Jews having employed the phrase to designate 
the close of an old and waning dispensation, which, 
would be superseded by a new order and econo- 
my, under the Messiah."* And the most profound- 
ly learned of the early christian commentators 
have so understood them, and have deduced firom 
them, in such a sense, the true application of the 
prophecy to Christ, and that the period of its ac- 
complishment would be distant/ ' 



' B^r *' the latter days '' the Jews generally understood 
the times of the revelation of the Messiah : Targ. Jonath. in 
Gen. XXXV. 21. vk^ov ^'^Da i^n»»D wa^o »Vani^, ' in the end of 
days the Messiah, the Prince, will be revealed :' conf. R* 
Mos. Bar Nachman in Gen. xlix. 1. Dav. Kimch. in Is. ii. 
1. Aberbanel in Pirke Avoth cap. iv. By the intervention 
of the Septuagint, we are enabled to trace the phrase, in the 
same sense, to the New Testament, llie Hebrew nnnHl 
o*D*n, occurring in the passage before us, which is rendered 
in Chaldee h*ov f\'\D^, is tranSated by the LXX. Gen. xlix. 

1. i«r' ia^eirwv rut itfM^upy and Num. xxiv. 14. iv ia^artt ru9 
ii^B^a/9, St. Peter adopts the former terms, in speaking of the 
descent of the Holy Ghost, at the commencement of the New 
Dispensation, Acts ii. 17. and applies the latter to its close, 
in mentioning the scoffers who derided the notion of our 'Lord's 
second coming; 2 Pet. iii. 3. They are accordingly adopted, 
in the Jewish sense, by the f^enerality of commentators among 
the Christians ; vid. Hammond on Matt. xxiv. 3. Wolf. Cur^ 
Philol. Vol. T. p. 338. b. Schleusn. Lex. Nov. Test. yoc. 
atuK § 10. Buxtorf. Lex Rabbin, voc o^li^. col. 1620. 

^^ Origen, who possessed a knowledge of the original, which 
was not attainable by a reader merely of the Septuagint, con- 
sequently unde' stands the passage, ' I shall see him,' as meant 
of Christ, and the phrase ' the latter days,' as meant of the 
time of his manifestation : Horn, xviii. in Num. Tom. II. p. 
941. f. ** In aliis quidem exemplaribus leffimus, ^ videbo eum 
sed non modo.' Quod si recipiatur, facilius intelligi putabi- 
tur» ut Chrigtum, de quo in consequentibus dicit, * orietur Stella 
ex Jacob, et exsurget nomo de Israel,* vicfejulicm, dicat ette, sed 

. jto 


There is consequently no just ground for main- 
taining a second opinion/** as to the person intend- 
ed by the prophet, in the splendid passage-in which 
he opens his prediction ; 

I shall see him, but not now, 
I shall behold him, but not near: 

Even the indefinite nature of the language 
which he employs suflSciently discloses his piu*- 
pose : the personage to whom he alludes being so 
obvious as to require no specific designation.**'* 

non modo : hoc est, non eo tempore quo ista loquehantur. Tn 
novissimis enim diebus, ' ubi venit plenitudo temporis, muit 
Deusjilium suum,^ After explaining the text, as rendered in 
the vulgar translation, he adds. Ibid. p. 342. b. <' Sed hoctemr 
pus, in quo hasc futura sunt, non appropinquat : longe enim est» 
et in ipso sactilijlne sperandum." 

^^ Bp. Newton assigns the following as his reason for ap- 
plying the prophecy, in its primary sense, to David ; uti supn 
p. 82. — ** for this reason particularly ^ because Balaam is here 
advertising Balak, ' What this people shcndd <2o to his people 
in the latter daySy that is what the Israelites should do to the 
Moabites hereafter/^ In both of which positions, the learned 
writer's commentary is unfortunately deserted by the authority 
of his original. The term which he here renders * should do,* 
is in the original i^fpJPj and as thus pointed by the Masorets 

in the fut. Hiphil, has consequently the sense * will cause to be 
done :' the verb in Kal signifying to do, but in Hiphil to cause 
others to do. That the accompanying D*Dm nnn»l, has a very 
different force from what it receives in the ' hereafter * of the 
learned commentator, has been I trust sufficiently established ; 
supr. p. 62. n.!** 

*** Willemer Desert, de Stel. ex Jacob, oriund. § 10. ** Obr 
jectum visionis significatur inseparabili pronomine m, ilium, 
nempe Reg em Messiam, suo regnique splendoie illustrem, 
ut cum Stella lucidissima multis modis conferri mereatur. Si- 
militer ad personam pronomen istud referunt Chaldad, Syrus, 
Samaritanus, Vulgatus, Estius, Tirinus, Castalio, ipseque Lu- 
therus, dum convertit eum, Ihn. Ubi ex vero observavit Ca- 
jetanus vocem eum xar i^oxiv respicere Christum, tanquam 
personam nuUi eomparandam, et de qua dicatur, omnium max-> 
ime dignam." 



Nw tet it be supjposed, that as thus ^pointed out by 
merely Negative marks, the character to which th6 
f)rbphet alludes is vague and uttcertaili. The 
terms which he employs to annouuce his coming 
are nearly identical with those by which the Mes- 
siah was designated, at a time when the expecta- 
tion of his advent was realised.**^ And in describing 
the character by which that event would *be distin- 
guished, he selects those images, which identify, 
beyond all doubt, the real object of the prediction : 

A star shall proceed out of Jacob, 
A sceptrci bhall rise out of Israel : 

On the signification of these words, two hypo- 
thiei^es if e maintslined ; which, though they lead 
to thei^ end by dififerent wayS, ter&iinate in esta- 
blishing the scmie conclusion. At an early peribd 
of the churchy this prediction was understood in 
tte ItJttef ; and was Isubposed to foretell the appear- 
an<*6 of the star by which Magians wete conduct- 
ed to iudea, at the tiine of the nativity.*** And in 

*^ The Meflsifth was generaAy 4®s^ated in the times 
ef our Lord mei^ly by the terms, o Ip^^^ivM, ' ke i^ho is to 
come/ or, as expressed in the vemaca^af Syriac, \L\i oqi: 
yid. Maft. xi. 3. lud. Vli. id. John Vi. 14. Heb. x. 37. 
Hie grammatical refineiifeAt 6t tloubigaM, who' refers the pro- 
lioun kim tb[ '^ God,'* Arid *' the Highest," which precede in the 
centextf and thiis epUHfis the tett lAto tl tesiiihony in ftvdr of 
ihe divinity of the Messiah, ift there'^ore withdut apparent ne- 
cessity, lie observes Bibl. Sacr. not in Num. xxiv. 1^. ** Af- 
fixiim M, dim, pertinet ad ^M, i)Htfi^, et ad \vh:f, AltisHmum, 
^use no^ina mox antedesser^t. Sic i|uo c^4fquiidr, aut fia- 
laain, hlBir sentehtiae, 4u&fi(][uam ])eo afflante, ettnlisse, au£ 
v'aficinatum Suisse ventiirom ei^ ih terras Detiih Ahi^mnni.'' 

^*^ OVigen, whose opididh^ regulated the pr^voiiiuff mode m 
dkebtog^, fbr a long period, Uhdetsl!66d the passage iH mis sense, 
Hom. in ^um. uti supr. p. 2(42. b. «' Po^ hato, ^ Oti^tuf ' in- 
quit,' sfelU ex Jacotb, et exsUrget homo ex I^rael.^ D^ his ^t m 
superioribus diiiihus, quia evidentef de stella quafe Magis^, m 


favor Of thia iaterpretation a still more ancient 
prescription may be pleaded, as in such a sense^ 
the prediction appears to have been understood by 
those Eastern sages. 

But from the precision of modern criticism, the 
prediction has received a different exposition ; ac- 
cording to its decision, nothing more was intended 
by the prophet than a mysterious^pnetaphor, or 
hieroglyphic expressive of the character of the ex- 
|)ec ted personage/*^ In favor of this explanation 
It has been urged, that as the star is said to " pro- 
ceed out of Jacob," the description is wholly in- 
applicable to any natural phenomenon by which 
the Magians could be directed.^**^ It may be also 
Acknowledged, in its support, that such figures 
are perfectly consistent with the prophetical 
style ;^^ and that an earlier prophecy of the patri- 
arch Jacob is nearly constructed of similar meta- 
j^ors.^ Of the two images which Balaam em- 
ploys, it must be admitted, that both should be na- 
turally understood in the same sense ; and as it is 
not to be conceived, that a real " sceptre should rise 
out of Israel," neither can it be imagined, that a 
real " star should proceed out of Jacob." 

As the language of the prophet must be conse^ 
quently understood in a fi^irative sen^e ; the ixnar 

oriehte ippamit, prof^tetiir : qua dtice Teneruat ad Jud^eam, 
r^q^eutes earn qui notus est tex Israel, etrepertum oblatis mu-i 
nertbus adoraverunt.^^ 

^^ In dim sease tiie passage k understood by Bp. Newton, 
ubisttpr. p. 77. viho, in this view of it expressly follows Bp. 
Warbiiirtoa, ibid. p. 81. 

«^ Houbigant, ubi supr. 

w>i VU. Watt. Appar. in Bibl. Polyglot. Tom. I. p. 47. Non- 
nunquam hieroglyplucis [Scriptural] utuntur, et symbolis, et 
senif^atibus, &c. - 

1^ Gen. xlix. 3, seq. 



ges which he has chosen, not only possess a natu^ 
ral sense,^ but a sense which is most appropriate 
to the subject. The characters by which the ad- 
vent of the Messiah was to be distinguished, are 
described by our Lord, in reply to the interroga- 
tives of his disciples, as to '' the signs of his com- 
ing :" he informs them that ^' they should see the 
Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with 
peiwer and great glory ''^ Of the emblems by 
which these attributes might be represented, the 
imagination can scarcely conceive two more ap- 
propriate or happy, than the sceptre and star^ which 
were selected by the prophet. On this account, 
it appears, that the true Messiah is described un- 
der tne image of " the morning-star ;"*** and the 
glories which would attend his appearance are re- 
presented as " the day-spring from on high, which 
visited his people."^^ 

Another and not less apposite characteristic of 
the divine personage to whom the prophecy ap- 
plies is contained in the judgments, which at his 
advent would be visited on his enemies. Such is' 

IAS xbe exposition of Origen merits transcription, as less ex- 
travagant than most of the comments of that fanciful expositor, 
Hom. in Num. uti supr. p. 342. e. " Et ideo deHatU ejus in- 
dicium illam stellam futsse opinor. TJnde et ordo prophetiae 
btec eadem consequenter ostendit, cum de deitate quidem ejus 
dicit, ' Orietur steHa ex Jacob ;' de humana vero natura, * Et 
exsurget homo ex Israel ;' ut in utroque et secundum deitatem, 
et secundum humanitatem, Christus prophetatus evidenter ap- 
pareat.^' It may be observed, that in unaerstanding the symbol 
in this sense, Origen, as an Alexandrine, interprets it as an £- 
gyptian heroglyphic ; for we learn from Horus Apollo, ari» 
iroE^' 'AlyvWIioK ypa^o^ivof Qto» ffiffAairii. The subsequent part oi 
his exposition b founded on the' mistrandation of the Septua- 

gint, a9»i^Qtr»t ei»^fviroi i( 'ic^anX^ 

i«* Matt. xxiv. 30. ^^ 2 Pet. i. 19. Rev, ii. 28. 

^^ Luke i. 78. conf. Matt. iv. 16. et Wetsten. not. in loG;i.< 

^i^ fti 


the light in which that event is described, in the 
entire prophetical scheme: from the prediction 
uttered hy Enoch before the deluge/^'^ to the pro- 
phecy delivered by our Lord, on the downfall of 
Jerusalem, such are the terrors in which it is ar- 
rayed, by the prophets. In the figurative lan- 
guage in which their denunciations are delivered, 
the enemies of the Messiah's kingdom are charac- 
terised, under the names of the earliest adversaries 
of Israel/* Balaam's speaking in the same spirit, 
adopts the same language. In describing the 
visitations which would accompany the manifesta- 
tion of the Divine Personage, he marks out, as 
the objects of his wrath, those nations which had 
exhibited, from the first, a hostile disposition to- 
wards the Israelites : and thus specifies Moab, E- 
dom and Amalek, as devoted to judgment. The 
consanguinity between the Israelites and the de- 
scendants of Lot and Esau, served as a tempo- 
rary protection to their territory ;^^ but there was 
a time appointed in the counsels of the Highest, 
when judgment would fall upon those idolatrous 
nations ; when the image would be broken, and its 
worshipper destroyed ; ** Edom would then be sub- 
jected, even in the fastnesses of Seir ; Moab would 
be led captive by Assyria : and Amalek be wasted 
by a protracted and exterminating warfare. "^^ 

Tliis denunciation of particular judgments re- 
served for the immediate enemies of Israel, the 
prophet follows up, with a statement of the retri- 

^^ Vid. sup. p. 27. 

** Walt. Apparat. ubi supr. § xxv. p. 46. " Synecdochice 
per Philistinos, Arabes, iEgpyptios, Moab, Ammon, IdumtBos, 
et alias gent€$ barbarcu, Judaeis vicinas et notas, significant pro- 
phets omnes gentet impias, subigendas a Christo, totumque 
mundum ad eum convertendum : ita S. Hier. in cap. Ix. Isaise. 

^ Deut. ii, 4, 5. 9. i*> See Exod. xvu, 14. 16; 






bution prepared for her more powerful and suc- 
cessful adversaries. After adverting to the capti- 
vity and deportation by the Assyrians, this being 
the main object of his prediction, the principal e- 
vent of which he undertakes to advertise the king 
of Moab, he closes his prophecy in the following 
terms : 

Alas ! who shaD live, when GU)d appointeth this ? 
For there shall be ships from the side of Chittim, 
And shall vex the Assyrian, and vex the Hebrew, 
And he also is reserved for destruction. 

It has been clearly established,^®^ on the autho- 
rity of sacred and profane writers, that the nations 
of Palestine understood by the Chittim, the Ma- 
cedonians and Romans : in whose invasion and 
conquest of the great empire, which passed suc- 
cessively under the dominion of the Assyrians and 
Persians, this prediction received an extraordinary 
accomplishment. But, as on the sense in which 
the concluding denunciation of the prophet is un- 
derstood, in a great measure depends, not only the 
ascertainment of the accuracy with which it has 

^ 161 Xhe authorities on thisgubject are collected by the learn- 
ed Bochart, Geogr. Sacr. Lib, III. cap. v. col. 157. seq. who 
proves, by numerous quotations from sacred and profane wri- 
ters, that under the term Chittim the Macedonians and Homans 
were meant : though he inclines to think the latter people were 
rather intended in the passage before us. Bp. Newton how- 
ever reconciles the contradiction, by adopting both opinions ; 
understanding the prediction as referring to the eastern con- 
quests of both Greeks and Romans; Dissert, ubi supr. p. 86. 
As the opinions of the ancients on this subject are briefly stilted 
by St Jerome, they may be here laid before the reader ; Com. 
in Is. xxili. Tom. iV. p. 60. c. '' Cethim Cyprum quidam in- 
terpretantur : us<]^ue hodie enim est apud eos urbs Citium ; de 
qua et Zeno Stoicee sectae haeresiarchesivit : quanquam pkriqtt$ 
nostrorum, et maxime Machaba^onm principuQiy vetfaim Jtalw 
MacedbnicBque insulas arbitrentur*" 



been fiilfiUed^ but of the main object at which it 
aims, the subject merits still further consideration. 
While it is not to be denied, that the language of 
the prophet conveys the plain and natural sense,. 
^^the Hebrew., .^ho is reserved for destruction:" 
it cannot be disputed that, by the obvious and li- 
teral sense^^ of this passage, every forced and ar- 
tificial construction of it^^^ must be superseded. 
At the period in which Balaam delivered his pro- 
phecy, the Romans, whose existence as a nation 
had not commenced, could be only known under 
the name of the Chittim :^^ this extraordinary pro- 

i6« By Bp. Newton, the pronoun 'h^/ in the concludmg 
line of the prediction, is referred to ' Chittim/ Dissert, ubi supr. 
p. 89. But independant of the remoteness of the substantive, its 
employment in the constructiTe case unfits it for qualifying the 
pronoun ; its dependence in that case» upon the noun *!% proves 
it rather the name of a place than a person. By Origen the 
pronoun is with greater justice referred to ' the Assyrian,' 
which intervenes between it and * the Hebrew :' Homil. ubi supra 
p. 346. e. But even this construction, as forced, must give 
place to the more natural and literal in which it .is referred to. 
'the Hebrew/ as the noun immediately preceding; with a view 
of the passage is adopted and defended by Houbigant; Bibl. 
Sacr. not. in loo. 

^^ In this sentence I would be understood to proscribe the 
sense ascribed to the passage, by the learned Dr. Hyde, who 
following the later Targums, understands the term najr, as 
meaning, uUrafiuviahm ; and consequently excludes the name 
of ' Hebrew ' altogether, from the denunciation of Balaam ; 
De Rel. Vet. Pers. p. 52. I have already stated some objec-^ 
tions to this view of the passage, and cited a variety of authori- 
ties in favor of the received translation : supr. p. 56. n. ^^» On 
the present occasion, it is merely necessary to oppose to the an- 
thonty of Dr. Hyde, the opinion of an oriental scholar no less 
reputed. Bocbart. ubi sopr. Lib, 11. cap. ziv. p. 105. " Ta« 
men in soriptura certum est, Transev^ratense^ non dici ons^ 
sed ^nJi nuro *q^jm : yid. 2 8am. x. 16. £sd, iv. IQ. 11. • • , • D<h 
iiique EhrmorwrngenB etiam vocatur £6er» Num. xxiv* 24. «t 
>/u Eber, Gen. x. 21/' 

^^ By the Jewish libtorian» who liraa cofiteni{K»rary with 


phecy must be consequently imderstood as pre- 
dicting the destruction of the Hebrew Republic 
by -the last and most powerful of the invaders of 
Asia. And regarded in this light, it becomes a 
subject of further interest, from the striking coin- 
cidence which it again exhibits to the prophecy 
delivered by our Lord, on that event, when interro- 
gated by his^disciples, on " the signs of his comings 
and of the end of the age''^^ In reply to their re- 
Balaam, Chittim is mentioned among '* the sons of Javan, . . . 
by whom the isles of the Gentiles, were divided in their lands." 
Gen. X. 4. 5. Fiom hence the Greeks, whom Homer, Iliad 
N. 685. terms *laoyf?, or 'laFoyi?, derived their origin and their 
name ; Hier. ubi supr. p. 226. c. '' Greed autem qui sermone 
Hebraico appellantur Javan, lonas significant : unde et Graeci 
Jones et mare Ionium." The Latins, who constituted the next 
great branch of < the Gentiles,^ mentioned by Moses, as Eolians 
by descent, were derived from the same original : vid. Saimas. 
in Solin. Tom. I. p. 650. d. As neither people existed as a na- 
tion, at the times of the £xod, tiiey were necessarily termed by 
Balaam after their aboriginal instead of their national appella- 
tion ; the name Chittim or Citium, being chosen by him, in con- 
sequence of its being expressly applied to the Macedonians and 
Latins, as may be seen in Bochart : ubi supr. p. 157. On the 
subject of the jPersian name and nation the prophet is equally 
silent, for the same reason ; this people being included by him 
under the term Assyrian, of whose empire they and the Medes, 
who succeeded to the dominion of Asia, formed merely a part; 
vid. Herod. Lib. I. cap. xcv. xcvi. In the prophecy of Balaam, 
*' the Assyrian and the Hebrew " are particularized, as they 
were respectively the remote cause ana the immediate instru- 
ments of the calamities which the prophet advertises Balak 
would fall upon his people, in the latter days. 

*^ Matt. xxiv. 3. t» to ^iaiTov t»i? ^? va^^ta^, jcj rvi av^ltXiia^ 

re atuvQ^, which is properly rendered in the Latin Vulgate, 
^ quid signum adventus tui, et consummationis saculi ;' and in 
the Syriac, )vt\s» oi^cuIq^K) yA^Ll^f ]L] woi \ilc^ By the 
intervention of >a^, in the fatter version, we at once identify 
the phrase in the Hebrew ; in which the terms fsh^^ ntrr D^1J^ 
Min, are opposed in the sense of — ' this age, and the age which 
is to come :" from whence they have been adopted, not only in 
the Syriac, jZ.|» }v^Vv--.|^^ jn^Vv^ but in the Greek, o cctu» 

-%,A ..V^A 


quisition, he apprises them of the destruction of 
the Temple, and of the downfall of Jerusalem ; in 
the ruins of which the Hebrew Polity was irreco- 
verably buried with the Jewish Religion. 

After the details into which I have thus minute- 
ly entered, in exposition of this extraordinary pro- 
phecy, a further appeal to the Jews, on its object 
and purport, may be considered superfluous. But 
the ChaJdee paraphrase, as containing the popular 
version of the Jewish Law, and as completed at 
least forty years before the Christian era, delivers 
a sentence which is at once so impartial and deci- 
sive, that it appears to merit transcription. The 
version which it gives of Balaam's prophecy exhi- 
bits a closeness and fidelity to the original ; but 
when the prophet expresses his confidence of be- 
holding some distinguished Personage, though at 
a distant period, the translator, deserting the in- 
definite and figurative language of his original, ap- 
plies the passage, in the most explicit terms, to 
the Messiah. 

I shall see him, but not now, 

uTof • • • • o eiluv tpp^o/xifof , yid. Luke xvi. 8. ZTiii. 30. &c. On th« 
Greek phrase Schleusner obserres, Lex. Nov. Test. voc. atuw 
§ 10. " eclS94i Kar i|o;(9y tempus Vet, Test, seu ceconomuie MasaU 
C(B notat. 1 Cor. z. 11. 1^ h^ t^ r/Xi} rv » aXufVf Koliprna't, * qui 
yivimus tempore Nov, Test.' quo plane abrogata est oeconomia 
Mosaica: et Heb. ix. 26. m ri ovrrt>i*i» rS» aiJavup^ sensueo- 
dem." On the Hebrew phrase^ Buxtorf observes. Lex. Chald. 
TOG. ub^f, ** Quidam per Hin vhMi intelli^nt n^tt^nn niD% dies 
Messiw, quibus scil. venturus Messias, quern Judtei adhue ex- 
pectant, quod in hoc mundo temporaliter regnaturus sit.'' In 
this view * the end of the age,' used by our Lord, is perfectly 
analogous to ' the latter days,' employed by Balaam; both ex- 
pressing the abrogation of die Mosaic economy as preparatory 
to the introduction of the Christian dispensation; — ^the abolition 
of the Hebrew republic, previous to the establii^unent of Christ's 



I shall behold him^ but not near : 

When a King shall come out of Jacobs 

And the Messiah be anointed out of Israel ; 

And shall slay the princes of Moab^ 

And rule over the sons of men ; 

Idumea shall be a possession^ 

And Seir shall be die inheritance of his foes^< 

But Israel shall prosper in substance.^^ 

Thus far it may be assumed as proved, that, in 
the same year in which Moses closed his legation, 
I an Assyrian prophet, expressing the most confi- 
dent expectation, that a Messiah would arise in Is- 
rael of the lineage of Jacob, taught the surround- 
ing nations, that the polity which the Jewish law- 
giver established was of a declining and temporary 
nature. While he expresses the fullest assurance, 
that he would behold, at a future though distant pe- 
riod, this divine Personage ; he intimates, in the 
plainest terms, the great national revolutions that 
would precede the introduction of his authority : 
which, at once inculcated the necessity of turning, 
for safety, to the expected Deliverer, and deter- 
mined the period at which he would appear. 

With what consumate wisdom a prophet, who 
was a pagan and diviner, was chosen to be the or- 
gan through which these truths were published, is 
so happily illustrated by an ancient writer, that 
I «liall need no apology for transcribing him in 
fall. ^^** Balaam, as we have observed above, was 
a diviner, having sometimes a prescience of future 
events, through the intervention of demons, and 
magic arts. He is required by Balak, king of 
Moab to curse the people of Israel : the ambassa* 

i§Q Taig. OnkeL in Num. xxiv. 17. seq. 

^ Orif^n, Horn. xiv. ift Num. § 3. p. 324. c. '' Balaam hie, 
itt auperiuB diaumut, diTtnus €rat, demonum scilicet ministieriD, 
et arte magica nonnunquam fiitura pr?enoscens. Rogatur 4 


dors arrive with the rewards of divination : the na- 
tions stand astonished and anxious, what Balaam 
will answer, of whom they are persuaded, that he 
was worthy to be admitted to a conference with 
the divinity. Behcfld now, how the wisdom of 
God made this organ, who was chosen for reproach, 
profit not only one nation, but almost the whole 
world. . . For it was effected by the great and won- 
flerful dispensation of God, as the words of the 
Prophets, whiic^ Were inclosed within the Jewish 
veil, could riot' reach the Gentiles ; that through 
Balaam, in whom the nations universally reposed 
faith, the secret mysteries of Christ should be 
made known ^ and tnat he should impart the ines- 
timable treasure to the Gentiles," &c- 

Still farther than this are we justified in pursuing 
our deductions, in illustration of this interesting 
subject. As the explicitness of Balaam's predic- 
tion must be imputed to the prophetic spirit by 
which he spoke ; it may be supposed, that previ- 
ously to the delivery of this prophecy, the nations 
for whom it was intended had no knowledge of the 
Divine Person, to whose manifestation they were 
then taught to look forward. Should it be there- / 

fore urged, that those opinions, to which I would 
ascribe the remotest antiquity, were of a recfent o- 

Balach rege ad maledicendum popula Tsrael, legati veniunfv 
diyinacula in manibus. ferunt, stant attonitae gentes, et anxiae, 
exspectaates quid respondeat Balaam, de qua persuasum hab&- 
bant quod dignus divinis colloquiis haberetur. Vide nunc quo- 
modo sapientia Dei vas istud ad contunieliam praeparatum pro- 
ficere fecit ad utilitatem non solum gentis unius, sedpene totius 
mundi :. . .Agebatur enim mira et magna dispensatione, ut qoo- 
niam Prophetaium verba, quae intra aulam continebantur Isra- 
eliticam, ad gentes per venire non poterant, per Balaam cui fides 
ab universis gentibus babebatur, innotescerent etiam nationibus 
secreta de Christo mysteria, et thesaunim magnum proferret ad 
gentes,'' &c. 


rigiu among the Assyrians ; the obJ6Cti(Hi may fit^ 
a direct answer, in the manner in which that Di- 
vine Personage is introduced in the prediction: 
,the opening of which, would have been less abrupt, 
Ixad not the subject been familiar. But positiv^ 
proof may be adduced, from the popular supersti- 
^ jtipps of the period when the prediction was utter- 
ed, that the expectation of such a Personage pre- 
.vailed among thp people, for whose use and in- 
struction it was intended. To such superstitions 
jit indeed appears very expressly to allude ; and a- 
gainst some pernicious errors which they tended 
Xo incjoleate on the popular mind, it .appears, in 
some of its leading topics, to have been immedi- 
ately directed. 

Brief as are the notices whiph it consisted with 
the purpose of th^ sacred historian to give of the sur 
perstitions of the nations bordering on Judea; they 
var,e sufficiently explicit to enable us to form an ac- 
curate idea of their rites and worship. As condu- 
cive to the m^in object of this inquiry, it remains 
t^ be observed, that in those superstitions every 
trait niay jje discovered which characterises th^ 
(opinions ^d practices of the Sabaists; a ^ect. 
Which was formerly noticied, as existing to thi? 
', day, in the mountains bordering on Mesopotamia,^ 
and which claims a descent, not merely prior toMo- 
1 ses or Balaam, but ajitecedent even to the deluge. 

At the period in which Balaam delivered his 
last prediction, the Israelites yielded to the seducr 
tive influence of the popular superstitions ; having 
.been led to join in the impure and idolatrous rites 
of Baal, through the corrupt suggestions of liie 
prophet.^* The account given by the sacred histo- 

*^ Orig. uti supr. Horn. xx. p. 347. a. ** Balaam poflKtea^quam 


rian of their defection is expressed by him in the 
following terms : ^^" And Israel abode in Shittim, 
and the .people began to commit fornication with i 
the daughters of Moab. And tliey called the peo- / 
pie unto the sacrifices of their gods^ and the people i 
did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Is- / 
yaeljoned himself unto Baal-peor." 

When this brief account is confronted with a des- 
cription of the Sabian superstitions^ as sketched 
by a writer, who has traced it without any view tor 
the similarity which it is my purpose tp establish^ 
the conviction of their perfect identity appears to b© 
almost irresistible. After describing the generaJi 
character of these s^tperstitions, he observers, in re- 
ference to their rites and ceremonies ; ^^" Of these, 
others were more gross and open, th6 scope and in- 
tention of which will be apparent to everyone, with- 
out the aid of an interpreter. To this class must be? 
referred those rites, which were woven, as it were> 
of a coarser web ; incurvations in temples^ consecra- 
ted to their gods ; the prostitution of women in ho-^ 
nor of the Syrian goddess ; the perforn^ance of rites 

Dei Yirtute constrietiui, non est permissus maledicere Tsrael, vo- 
lens tamen plaeere regi Balach, ait ad eum sicut scriptum est : 
' Yeni, consilium do tibi.* £t quid consilii dederit ibi non ap^ 
{mmit, in posteri€>ribus tamen ipsius libri Numerorum scriptum 
reDirtur. Sed plemus m Re^elatione Joi^nnis, ubi ita contine-i 
tyr : ' Habes/ inquit, ' ibi (|uosdam, qui tenent doctrinam Ba- 
laam* qui ducuit Balach, ut mitteret scandalum in conspectu 
filiorum Israel, ut manducareut ido.lis immolata, et fomicaren- 
fur.' £x hoc ergo apperet quod nequitia usus sit Balaam, eil 
consilinm dederit regi, Ssc. 

^^ Num. XXV. 1. seq. 

w Speno. de L^g. Heb. Lib. H. cap. i. sect. 4s, « Ex us [li-. 
tibut Zabxofum] alii magis Cfaasi fuerunt et aperti ; quorum 
Beape scopus et tntentio» sine inlerprete aliquo, cuivis inootue^ 
rant. In nunc censum leferendi sunt ritus e filo quasi crassiore 
conftiKKtif qmlet sunt lacunralio in tegiplis idolo conseer^tis, 
Fceminarum in Veneris honorem publication Sacrorum peractio 

L 2 


in a state of exposure which modesty prohibited ; 
swearnig by Baal and participating in idol sacrifi- 
ces ; the erection and dedication of statues, for re- 
/ ligious worship, and reverence paid to the images ; 
i the immolation of children to Moloch , and rites per- 
formed to the idol, besides ofSSf ceremonies in 
which the Sabians plainly and openly avowed 
themselves devoted to the worship of demons." 

In this infamous catalogue, the impure and im- 
pious rites, into which the Israelites were drawn by 
the depraved counsel of Balaam, possess a promi- 
nent place : when, indeed, the human sacrifices of- 
fered to Moloch are excepted, to every part of the 
description the plainest allusions may be traced, 
in the history of that disgi-acefui occurrence. As 
far as a subject.of its nature admits of investiga- 
tion, it seems necessary to enter into the inquiry; 
not merely as conducting to the point, to which 
these inquiries ultimately tend, but as contributing 
to account for the defection of the Israelites, to a 
superstition so depraved and degrading. 

Baal-peor, the divinity in whose worship the Is- 
raelites joined, through the allurements of the Mi- 
dianite women, is generally identified with the 
Priapus of the western nations. To .this offensive 
deity rites and ministers were assigned suitable to 
the gross form and character in which he was re*- 
presented. The superintendance of his worship 
was chiefly committed to priestesses, who were 
as disgracefully distinguished, by their disso- 
lute morals, as the obscene idol, to which they 

piftitibu? nudatis quas honestas tegi jubet, Juramentum per 
Baal, idolothytartim participatio, Statuae alicujus ad cultum 
erectio et jdedicatio, bonqr religiosus imagiDi prxstitus, Infantum 
Molocho immolatio, sacram coram idolo factum, et consimiles 
alii, quorum usu Zabii se demonis cultui devotes esse palam et 
aperte profitebantur." 

'^\r SrK _ _ S 


V ' 




.were consecrated, by his offensive appearance.*'^^^ 
Of the rites in which they ministered, the apostle 
observes, with a sentence of peculiar reprobation, 
that' they '* taught to eat things sacrificed to idols,; 
and to commit fornication :" these rites being not 
merely accounted religious observances, but the 
initiatory, ceremonies by which they were at first 
admitted into this vile superstition, and subse- 
quently maintained communion with its abandon- 
ed votarists/^^ 

The nature of the rite, by which the proselyte 
was principally admitted into this idolatrous com- 
munion, precludes our entering at any length into 
the offensive subject. It will be sufficient to ob- 
serve, on its antiquity, that the infamous function 

171 Seld. de Dis. Syr. Synt. T. cap. v. p. 159. " D. Hierony- 
inus ad Osese cap. ix. * Ipsi autem educti/.(ait Patrum ille doc- 
tissimus) ' de ^gypto fornicati sunt cum Madianitis et ingressi 
sunt ad Beelphegor, idolum Moabitarum quern nos Priapum 
possumus appellare.'. .. Idem Pater magnus ad Oseae cap. iv. 
postquam de sacris Dj^^m Matris est loquutus, * Tstiusmodi,' in- 
quit, idololatria erat in Israel, colentibus maxime foeminis Beel- 
pbegor ob obscoeni magnitudinem.'. . . Is item Lib. I. contr, hae- 
reses Joviani cap. xii. * Phegor in lingua £br?ea Priapus appel- 
latur.* Fceminas vero quae sacris ejus praeerant mtt^ip, Kedesh- 
oth, prophetafum lingua dictas vult ad Oseaecap. iv. com. 13. 
* Sciendum,' inquit, * quod in praesenti, mtr^ip, meretrices, U^bT^, 
id est, sacerdotes Priapo mancipatas vocet.' Sic sane o*mip, 
Kedeshim, dicti Astartae sacerdotes, de queis infra.'' Conf. 
Synt. II. cap. ii. p. 237. 

i7« Spenc. ubi supr. Lib. II. cap. iii. Sect. 4. p. 498. " Esus 
idolothyti sanguinis aut sufTocati, et fornicatio non tantum ritus 
ethnici fuerunt et idololatrici, sed ritus ipsi quibus homines olim 
Ethnicismo initiabantur, et in daemonum aut idololatrarum soci- 
etatem admittebantur. Homines idolothyti comestione Genti- 
um sacris initiatos fuisse, vel ilia Psalmistae iron obscure docent, 
[Ps. cvi. 26.] ' InitiatisuntBeelphegor, etcomederuntsacrificia 
n]ortuorum.\..Ideo vero participes idolothyti Daemonis aut I- 
doli sacris addicti vel initiati censebantur, quod, eoritu, ' mensae 
Daemonis' assidere, cum illo feeder aliter epulari, eique familia- 
ritate quadam conjungi et quasi commisceri; viderentur." 


with which the ministers in this retigipn wtere 
vested, renduced the name of priestess to a level 
with the lowest term of infamy ; and as such it wad 
the subject of a specific denunciation in the Law 
of Moses ;^^^ as thus denounced by the Jevrish law- 
giver, it must have existed previously to the times 
of his contemporary, the Assyrian prophet. 

The idol-sacrifices, by which communion was 
maintained with this superstition, merit more par- 
ticular attention ; as they afford us some light in 
ascertaining its origin. *^*" Blood was a principal 
, ingredient in these execrable festivals ; they con- 
! sidered it the food of demons, and the most ac^ 
ceptable offering that could be made to the infer^ 
nal deities. Nor did they hold any thing to be more 
efficacious in obtaining an intimacy with those di- 
vinities, and in acquiring the power of divination, 
than their eating flesh saturated in blood, and ce« 
lebratihg their magical feasts, on the blood of an 
animal immolated to the demons. It was thus 
customary with tliis sect, after sacrificing an ani- 

^73 Id. ibid. p. 4d9« ** Fornication em etiam initiationis idolo- 
latiicae ritam fuisse, testimonio sit locus iUe Denteronomii xxiiL 
17. * Non erit ntt^ip, nieretrix, e filiabus Israel, neque erit tt^np, 
scortum masculum, e filiis Israel : sic enim interpretes 6r«ci lo- 
cum interpretantur, ^k tr»h tiXso-^o^o( olvq ^vyaripuv- Icrpa^A, «} hm. 
•rat TEXirxo^f yof euvo ru» mu» la-^aix, ' non erit initiatrix inter nlias 
Israel, nee initiatus inter filios Israel.' Sic verba Grseca trans- 
fero, Theodoretum secutua, qui TiXto-^opoy interpretatur riv ^4trec' 
^vyHa'»p iniatriqem, nKKntifAttoif vero initiainm, Afiis etiam iB 
locis, LXX, tt^np et no^np initiandi sensu reddiderunt*" 

17^ Id. ibid. cap. xi. p. 327. ^' Veteres illi idololatrae praecipe- 
am sanguinis in ceremooiis suis rationem habuere, eum Daemo- 
num cibum, et donum Diis infi^is gratissimum, existimantes; 
nee quicquam ad obtlnendam Deorum societatem et divinaadi 
potentiam efficacius habuerunt, quam ai sanguinem aut cames 
Banguine fluentea ederent, vel apud aut supra sanguinem beatie 
daemonibus inunolata& convim magica celebrarent. Hinc seo- 
tae illi aolenne erat, mactnto dsemonibus animali, sanguinis par- 


mai to the demons^ to partake of part of the blood, 
pr to pour it in the dust, or into a trench, and to as- 
semble round it, for tlie purpose of feasting ; that 
when the demon, as it was believed, and them- 
selves partook of the blood and flesh of tlie immo- 
lated anipoyal, the closest intimacy with them, and 
a power of divinatioji would be acquired/' It 
appears from the author, who Im^ principally fur- 
nished this account, that these eacri6(^$ were con'^ 
pidered federal rites ; , that those who thus partici-' 
pated, at the same board, with the demons, contrac** 
^ aa alliance and fraternity with those spirits, 
wh<^ wQjLild appear to them in dreams, and impart 
tp them a kuowlege of future events.^'* 

Amoftg the illusive' arts, whidi tended to pear* 
petuate the influence of this superstition over 
^e papular credulity, divinatioa by the agjEgnt 

w^ held partieularly in repute."^ To this repSl* 

tern comedere, vel sj^uguinem in pulv:erem au fossam effundere, 
6t ad eum, convivandi causa, frequentes convenire ; ut cum dsip- 
moiaes animalts mactati sangume (uti ereditam est) et Ipei oame 
y^ptc^rf^^r, eoruiii ysum familianem, et md9 divioaadi Isflulte* 
i^ia^ aibi conciliareat." 

W Maimon. Mor. Nevocb. P, I. cap. xlvi. 

U^ Spencer observes, on tbe divination eiiiployed by tbe Saba- 
ist?, while commenting on Ley. xix. 26. ubi supr. sect. xi. p, 
336. '* wnif strictius accepta o^to/xaylfiacy, diviuatiouem a serpetUe 
petitam indicat. Nam dubitare nequeo, vocem illam tt^nJ, a 
terpens, deductam, cujus, in auguriis^ incantationibus, alivaque 
vet^rum sacris, magnum usum fuisse, multis testimoniis et iqdi- 
ciisy eruditionem non vulgarem olentibus, apertum feceninti 
Heinsius, Bochartus, D. Vossius, Seldenus aliique. Vox ea» 
latius accepta, divinationem ab avibus haustam notat. . • Hunc. 
sensum yoci tribuunt interpretes plerique veteres, LXX^ Vul- 
gatus, Arabs, Syrus, Jonathan, Interpres Hierosolymitsmuss ^t 
It. Selomo. • • Hie autem interpretes ilU duces equid^m perltoflf 
et oculatos, sed (quod mirum) errante ve^tigio, sequebantun 
IfiTam ^XX. vocem wni per ottfyiurSe, apte quidem et ervdite« 
reddlder^ ; cm^ antiqui ve^bp oUffi^gc^en, ad divinantiQinQs, Qon 
tantum ex avibis, sed et serpentibus captatas^ e^i^primendaa^" 


a peculiar virtue was ascribed in incantations and 
angury ; as he was considered the author of all 
; knowledge, and particularly the revealer of the 
[ higher mysteries in this depraved superstition.*'^ 
As an accompaniment of divination and, as such, 
connected with it, in the prohibitions of the Jew- 
ish Law, "the prognostication of times" may be 
mentioned:"® a knowledge of futurity having been 
regarded as attainable by astrology, which was e- 
qually cultivated with divination, by the seers of 

' That these rites were more ancient than the 
times of Balaam might be collected from the tes- 
timony of his contemporary Moses, by whom 
they have been proscribed, in an express interdic- 
tion/®^ On the subject of this inquiry they have a 
more intimate bearing ; as the plainest allusions to 
them may be traced, in the history of the Assyrian 
prophet. In recording the defection of the Israel- 
ites to the worsjtiip of Baal-peor, the sacred histo- 
rian expressly mentions the impure rite by whicb 
proselytes were admitted into that superstition, 
and the idol-sacrifices by which they maintained 
communion with its members :^" and the language, 

tentur. Assertionis meae fides uititur Hesychii verbis ; Oiufo^^ 

tTityov" Conf. D. Vos. in Maimon. de Idol. cap. vi. 

W Vid. supr. p. 20. n.« 

*78 After treating of divination by serpents, used by the Sa- 
baists Dr. Spencer proceeds, while commenting on Lev. xix. 
25. Ibid. p. 387." Ad praeceptum proximumiJjiirnM^,calamu» 
jam promovendus est. De vocis hujus originc sensuque docti di- 
versa sen tiunt...Notae clarioris authores, Maimonides, R. Kim- 
chi, FuUerus, Joannes Cochus, Vossius, alii sentiunt, hoc ver- 
bum a 7^1^V derivatum, quod iempus decretum et stdtutum sonat, 
adeoque Deum, hacin lege, temporum clectionem aut observatio- 
nem,juxtapr<jBceptaprcB8ertim astrologorum imtitutam, vetuisse.'^ 

iro Vid. supr. p. 38. n.9« iw Lev. xix, 26—29. 

"^ Vid. supr. p. 76. 


ID ipdiicli he describes their admission iato that su-^ 
perstition, impMes that it wsus an initiation in its 
mysteries.^ The divination to which he represents 
Balaam as addicted, was that in which the serpent 
was employed,*** in the calculation of future e- 
vents. And the profession made by the prophet 
to the king of Moab, to advertise him of what 
should occur to his people *' in the latter days," very 

*8^ Num. XXV, 3. mro ^ra^ hvcim^ noy»1, wlricb i» rendered 
in the English version, ' and Israel j<nn«d himself to Baal-peor/ 
is more accurately expressed, in the LXX, x^ treT^ia^ 'id-paiix r» 
Bssx^s7<^p, and in the Latin Vulgate, ^ initiatnsque est Israel 
Beelph«g<Hr,' and Israel was initiated in Baal-peor.' In the 
^ame sense the passage appears to have been understood by the 
other Greek translators, v/ith the exception of Theodotion, who 
expresses novn by xj s^tvyio'^ntra* : the participle o^idyj, in the 
eontext, which the LXX render reltXecrfA,ifo9, is accordingly r6n<^ 
dered by Aquila, ftMvl^ivron, In this sense Origen also under- 
•tood the passage : Horn, uti supr. p. 349. f. '' Beelphegor idoli 
nomen est, quod apud Madionitas praecipue a mulieribus cole- 
batur. In hujus iergo idoli mysteriis censecratus ett Israel" If 
it be thought, that &i8 sense is derived from the Greek transia* 
tion ; on l£e Hebrew verb Beyer observes, Addit. in Seld. de 
Dls Syr. p. 236. <' Accedit quod Scriptura, hunc cultum abor 
nia^iis, utatur voce novj, copuktm conjugalem significante.'^ 
Ibid. p. 237. '* Sic cojmlatp Israele cum idoh Peoris accensam 
ease iram Jehovse in Israelem ; adhsesisse enim dicit Ps. cvi. 2. 
28.1. e.^.eopulaU^, sociatos, adjunctos, et veluti matrimonio 
otngugatos fuisse Peor, scil. per commessationes et meretrices, vel 
filias Moabitaruin prius ab idolo demde ab ipsis subactas "' ^c. 
Conf. Voss. de Idololatr. Lib. 11/ cap. vii. p. 174., 

^^ The sacred historian, in mentioning Balaam's temporary 
renunciation of bis art, particularises this species of augury: 
Num. xxiv. 1, n^mm nt^npf? oypa Dysa ']hn «V, ** He went not 
a$ at other tim^s to seek for serpent-divination 'P so the term 
0*tt^nJ> which is used here, is properly explained, supr. p. 79. 
n.*^^. D. Vossius, whom Spencer follows in explaining the term, 
while be assigns it a. more extended sense, admits this to have 
been its original signification, uti supr. p. 99. '^ A mvMySerpeMy 
deductam vocein^ non ambigo ; nam ejus in auguriis et incanta* 
tionibus, aliisque sacris; magnus erat usus : und^ Hesychius, 

•»«ro(^ of K> &C* 


t fully implies, that the prognostication of times^ 
which the Jewish lawgiver combines with divina- 
tion by serpents, formed a part of the art which 
ithe seer of Pethor exercised. 

When viewed through the medium of these su- 
; perstitions, the prophecy of Balaam presents a new 
and interesting aspect. It is not merely valuable, 
! as disclosing the highest tenet of Revelation, in the 
• promise of an expected Redeemer ; but is im- 
; portant, as preserving the remains of some ancient 
' traditions, which refer their origin to a period an- 
i tecedent to the deluge. 

The king of Moab, in suborning an Assyrian di- 
viner to oppose the Israelites, is represented as 
choosing three stations, from whence he was to 
utter his malediction against the new invaders. 
He first led Balaam to some sacred mounds, 
which were consecrated to the worship of Baal :"* 

184 Num. xxii, 41. Vya ni»a inVyn, * and he made him as- 
cend the high places of Baal.' So the passage is rendered in the 
Latin Vulgate; 'duxit eum ad exceUa Baal,' in the Sama- 
ritan, IVSi ATi^ia^a ^V^/f-'K, and in the Chaldee, with a 
slight variation, n»nVm nDl^ n'powi, ' and he led him to the 
high places of his god :' in the Syriac the original term is retain- 
^^9 )Llo / ^v->^V ciaipjo, and he made him ascend Bemoth 
Baal :' in the Greek the sense is somewhat ambiguous, anfihfi»a%9 
avrof Iv) T^y ri^^nv t3 BaaX, ' he made him ascend to the pillar, 
or mound of Baal;' but in the Arabic very loosely expressed, 

xJ^Ax^ ^Aj (jo^u Jt StXjUffUy'andheledhimuptosome <em- 
ples of his god.' In the modern versions the passage is accurate- 
ly rendered ; in the English, ' and brought him into the highpla- 
, ces of Baal ;' in the Italian, * e lo men6 sopra gli alti luoghi di 
Baal;' in the French, ' et le fit monter aux hauts lieux de 
Bahal ;' in the Spanish, * le llevo i, hs altos de Bahal ; and in 
the German, ' und fiihrete ihn hin auf Hohe (the heights) 
Baals.* The original nioa, from whence the Greeks derived 
the term, PufMf, which the Syrians converted into )ffilooo» 
properly means a sacred or sacrificial mound; the term is thus 
properly explained by the ablest writers on Hebrew antiqui- 
ties ; Spenc. uti supr. Lib. II. cap. vii. sect. 1. ^* Gentium an- 


as they affi>rded but a partial view of the Israel- 
ites, he seems to have believed the prophet would 
be emboldened to devote that people to destruction 
by a sense of their being few and inconsiderable. 
He next led him to the summit of one of the highest 
hills ;^ from whence the view of their numbers 

tiquiorum usu receptum erat, altaribus uti sublimibus, ad res 
divinas eb majore cum solennitate peragendas. Ita morem ha- 
buisse, e multis Scripturae locis elarepeicipiamus: nam populus 
in ExceUis sacrificare et incensum onere dicitur : quae excelsa 
Yocantur, Exod. xxxiv. 13. loco parallelo, Num. xxxiii. 52. 
altaria appellantur : ct Deus multis in locis eonim excelsa tol- 
lere, peidere, destruere et deyastare, comminatur. Lev. xxvi. 30. 
£zec. vi. 3. Hos. x. 8. Amos. vii. 9. qnce sane loca intelligi ne- 
queunt de montibus et collibus (nunquam )oco movendis aut dis- 
sipandis) sed altaribus , quae sublimi vertice coelum minitari vi- 
debantur. Atque inde*venit, quod Altare, non apud Latinos 
tantum sed et Hebraeos, nomen ab altitudine sortiatur. Nam 
noi altitudo ad altare notandum usurpatur, Jer. xlviii. 35. . . 
£zec. xvi. 16...Hinc etLXX. Yocem niDi, nunc ^A^^xof, nunc 
v^y{Kaf interpretari solent." 

^^ Num. xxiii. 14. njDBn tt^«n ^« D»By mtt^, ' to the field of 
tibe watchers, to the top of the peak,' or literally, ' the peak's 
head.' In this sense the passage is rendered in the Chaldee, 
i^non v»*)^ wniDD ^pn^, * to the field of observation, to the top of 
the hill ;' in the Syriac, jA^$ ^ ^ -'^ V (ooi VVn--'^- ' to the field 
of the watchers, to the top of the hill \ and in the Samaritan, 

WAOriS'^ **»nrsZ iSSOra-m 2YVZ, • to the field of the watch- 
ers, to the peak of observation.' Nor does the Greek recede 
very far from this sense ; tU oty^s trtLotriait liri Ko^v^nv ^cX»|et;jCAf jr«, 
* to the field of observation, on the summit of a levelled place.' 
but the Arabic, with its accustomed inaccuracy, renders the 

passage, SjdiUt {jh\j ^Lc 'iSjIM SxajoIU < to an high place, 
on the top of a citadel*' The Latin Vulgate, * in locum subli- 
mem, super verticem mentis Phasga ;' which is transplanted 
into the Spanish ; < ^ un lugar alto, sobre la cima del monte 
Phasga^ * to a high place, on the top of mount Pisgah :* to 
which the German nearly conforms, * an einen freyen Platz, 
auf der Hohe Pisga,^ to an open place, on the top of PisgaJ 
In the other modem versions the same principle is extended* 
and two proper names adopted ; viz. in the English, ' to the 
field of Zoptiimy to the top of Pisgah f in the French, ' au terri- 
toire de Tsophim, vers le sommet de Pisgaf and in the Italian, 

M 2 


was equally limited, while the appearance of their 
strength was diminished^ in proportion to the dis^ 
tance at which they were beheld. Findiiig him- 
self disappointed in both these esxpedientSy aa the 
prophet only continued to utter prognostications of 
their future greatness ; he thence led hbm to the top 
of Peor,^^ from whence the prophet, seized with 
inspiration, at the sight of the Israelites in theijr 
encampments, utter^ the splendid predietkm, in 
delivering which he closed his prophetical lega- 
tion. "And Balaiatm lifted up his eyes, and saw 
Israel abiding in his tents, according to their 

' al campp di Sefim, nella cima di PisguJ There caa be how- 
erer little doubt, that both tenns, as significaat, and resdered 
as such in the ancient versions* should b^ taken as eommon, not 
proper names; njoa, from jdd, talij't up, si^iiying a tummUt 
and as such,, rendered in the Chaldee nnoi, and in the Syriae 
];A^> ; and o*&y> 1 Sam. xiv. 1&, from nax, ait<mtvn9, to ^py, sig- 
nifying spies, watchmen ; and as such rendered in the Syriac 

{oof and in the Samaritftib *£iltt2ffR^ From Dent. xut. 1. it ap- 
pears that the proper name ol the mountaio was Nebo*, ol whidb 
Pisgah was tkepeak. 

186 Num. ibid, 28. niyBn »«n uvh'z, n« pVa npn *ajnd Bakk 
took Balaam to the top of Feor ;' so the passage is almost widb 
one consent rendered in the^ versioiis, in the Greek, t^ va^iha&t 
QaXj^x to* Bei\cwf4, sm xo^^*'" '''^ ^'oyap I hi the Lalift^ 'cun^ue 
duxisset eum supei verticem montis Phogor :' in the Syiiae, 

s ^vov ^^^* \ v>v\^\ -o\«^ ^jo ; in the Saaaritan, S^!^t 

^^rV2 »*nr^ »*5VZa /mr ?Za. The name of Peor is in^ed 
suppressed in the Chaldee, «nDi mn D]^Vn ir pVa nan, * and 
3alak led BaJaank to the top of the htU ;' and in the Arabic,. 

XajI^I ij^\j Jl jSiXaLli, « and he led him to the top of the hilK' 
T nename is, 1&owever, retained m the modem versions, which 
coincide in the translation of this passage ; the ItaKan ren^ring 
it, ' Balac adunque mend Balaam in cima di Peor;' the French, 
' Balak done condnisit Balaam sur le sommet de Pekor f the 

J — 

Spanish, * y habi6ndol& llevado sobre fa cima del monte Fhf- 
^for;* the German, ' und er fuhrete ihn auf die Hohe des Berges^ 
Peor:* and the English^ * and Balak brought Balaam unto Ae 
top of Pcor,' 


tribes ; and the spirit of Ood came upon him. And 
he took tip Iris parable,'^ &c. 

From tlie stations chosen by Balak^ for the pro- 
phet to curse the Israelites, and the sotemn rite 
in which the ceremony coBttmenced, it may be in* 
ferred, that the king^ intended the enchanter should 
derive encouragement, from the sense of his acting 
under the protection of the divinity, whom they 
mutually sought to propitiate by a religious rite. 
The spot selected for offering the first sacrifice 
and delivering the first prediction was on "the 
high places of Baal/' The mountains/^ On which 

18T 'file moimtamous tract, which exteoded from east te 

\| west tiirough the plains of Moah, and lay on the opposite side of 

I Jordan to Jericha, was caHed (Deut. xxii. 49.) omrn in, * the 

' mountain of passes f as the term is properly renctered by Sy b*- 

maclnis, r« Ipo^ h»^<rte^v, and paraphrased in the Latin Vulgatev 

' mens iste Abarim, id est transitnnm .*' which receives some cob-* 

Ifiraiation from, the Chaldee *M"m^i H"iTtD, ' the mountain of the 

migrants,' and the Sy riac ^LaJij Jjoi fjol. with the same sense : 

to which we may also add the Samaritan HHt/i-^SX^ *\T^.. The 
Hebrew term is indeed preserred in the Greek, rl opaq rh Affet^ifx., 

and its follower, the Arabic, r^j^.r^^ ^"^^ Of this tract, N*e- 
ha and Peor are the only mountains distinguished by proper 
names ; their ne^es are accordingly preserved untranslated in the 
ancient versions ; in Deut. xxxiv. 1. ni nn is accordingly ren- 
dered in the Chaldee, ni"i vC\^tD. ; in the Syriac, q^xj} j^o^ ; in 

the Samaritan,, /f^t^ ^'^^ ; m the Arabicr ^ Auk^^ m. tket 
Cvveek ro q^ Nee$ocv; in the Latin,^ moits Nebo' :* the aBme netturk 
extends to the wsoAem TersioMk Of Peov £ have aJxead^ spo«- 
keBi awl made- the same obsttsvartioft; siipr. ii.^^ ; tiie Chaldee 
Mdeed read» MmD> t&tn,. boi ^m i^ nrnsoa ta believe that this 
ummB wa» laterly saAatitetBd Ibmisra ami. EnsebMis olMervea 
Oaonmst U^rb. et Loc» siibi voe. Bt&pafAf^y, that ^the eity 
BeCbramph<iba of Ihe Synans b eaUcd. liiviaa^' wmk a^aitt^ adbb 
i»c.Bki&^««^ that * Betkhpeor,. opposite Jexteho*^ issui auleftlrcni 
BetllarampMia^' We alraioe iikattfy the Chaldee>,. i^nD*i> rrJ%, 
cr Sjvim \ificl tS^Qj in the Betfammtfaa of EuB chiaa -;, the nio^ 
aiiy of tfaiacit^ te Beth^ot, and: ila celebai^ iib the tioKt ef 
Herod, who termed it Li^iwr, ia eoHfAment to Augvsbta, w3l 


the ceremony was repeated, and the subsequent 
prophecies uttered, we shall soon have occasion 
to shew, possessed the same names as the princi- 
pal idols of Moab. On each occasion, the king 
and prophet are represented as entering on their 
work, with an act of religious worship : " And Ba- 
\ laam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, 
and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams. 
And Balak did as Balaam had spoken : and Balak 
and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a 
\ ram." That this ceremony was performed, in no 
j purer spirit, and after no form more sacred, than 
that prescribed by the popular superstitions, there 
can be little reason to doubt :^^ as the place on 
which the first sacrifice was off^ered determines the 
jidolatrous character of the rite, almost beyond 
icon tro version. Nor can any objection arrise to 
this supposition, from the consideration of the re- 
sult which followed, on the performance of the 
rite; that "Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord 
to bless Israel, and he went not as at other times 

to seek for enchantments." If the sacrifice was of- 


sufficiently account for the substiution of the new name for the 
ancient, which occurs Deut. iii. 29. where the Hebrew and 
Chaldee have nirfi no, and the Syriac x ^vca AaO* I formerly 
observed of niiDfi, that it is not a proper but a common name, 
analogous to peak or vertex : and that it was a part of Mt. Nebo. 
188 Origen uti supr. Horn. xvi. p. 329. c. "At ille,' hoc est 
Balach, * stabat juxtaholocaustomata, etomne principes IVIoab 
cum illo. £t dixit ei Balach : ' Quid loquutus est Dotninus? ' 
Res quid em prophanU mcrificiis gerebatur, et divinatio magica 
arte requirebatur : volens tamen Deus ibi abundare ffratiam, ubi 
superabundavit peccatum, adesse dignatur, nee reUiffit ab lis, 
quae non secundum Israeliticam disciplinam, sed secundum Gen- 
tilium gerebantur errorem, Adest autem non sacrificiis, sed in 
occursum venienti, et ibi dat verbum suum, atque ibi mysteria 
futura praenunciat ubi maxime fides et admiratio Gentiliuin 
pendet, ut qai nostris nolunt credere prophetis, credant divinis 
et vatibus suisl*' Conf. Horn. xvii. p. 335. b. 


fered, with the view of obtaining an omen, to en- 
courage the seer in his intention ; on the sign's be- 
ing witheld, he would thence naturally infer, that 
heaven was unpropitious to his design, and ac- 
quire sufficient reason to abandon all further search 
aifter omens.^ 

Nor is it to be inferred that the mountains, on 
which Balak and Balaam performed these cere- 
monies of religion, were merely frequented occa- 
sionally, in celebrating the worship of the divinity 
which received the devotion of the Assyrian na- 
tion. Mount Peor, which witnessed the last and 
noblest prediction of Balaam, was not only dedi- 
cated to the idol, into whose worship the Israelites 
were seduced by the prophet's counsel, but con- 
ferred on that god his title of Baal-peor, and ap- 
pears to have had a temple consecrated to his wor- 
ship.^^ Mount Nebo, to the summits of which Ba- 

. 1^ Orig. ibid. Horn. xyii. p. 385. b. '* Requiratur fortasse 
unde yidit Balaam, quia bonum est in conspectu Domini bene- 
dicere Israel, et putabitur ex sacrificiis intellexisse quae immol- 
averat. Ubi enim yidit nullum adesse dcemonium, nullam con- 
trariam potestatem yictimis suis adsistere audentem, exclusos 
esse omnes malitix ininistros, quibus uti ad maledicendum sole- 
bat, potuit ex his intellexisse, quia bonum esset in conspectu 
Domini benedicere Israel." Without recurring to such a ma- 
chine, the knot may be untied by the assistance of a learned 
person, who supposes that Balaam was accustomed to see o- 
mens, instead of demons; and who, on the same principle, 
solves the difficulty of two other remarkable texts: Voss. in 
Maimon. uti supr. p. 73. " Ita tt^nJ Bilhami fuerit proprie au- 
gurium. £t cum idem ait, Vfe^ntt^^i DOp M^i lp]^>i mni M^,'non 
est augurium, vel omen^ contra Jacobum, nee divinatio contra 
Israelem.' Atque inde verba, * Fortasse obviam fiet Deus mihi, 
et quamcumque rem ostenderet sniAt, indicabo tibi s' i. e. videbo 
quale mihi ngnum Deus offerat, et tibi renuntiabo." 

^9t* Seld. uti supr. Synt. I. cap. v. p. 162. " jlfoiw enim Mo- 
abitarum regione Peor dictus erat, ubi, ni fallor, Baal hie etde^ 
luhroet sacris honorabatur, Moses Num. cap. xxxiii. 'et as- 
sumpsit Balac Bileam in summitatem Peor, sive Phegor,({m res- 


lak conducted Balaam, from '* the high places of 
Baal," was equally dedicated to the deities of Mo- 
ab. On this mountain a temple was erected to the 
idol Chemosh,^^* who is conceived identical with 
\ Baal-Peor : but it seems to have been particularly 
1 consecrated to an idol from whom it derived its 
Iname, the god Nebo,^ to whom the Moal)ites paid 
religious honors. 

To form a just estimate, how far the considera- 
tion of those deities, and their rites entered into 
Balaam's views, when delivering his predictions 
in the scene of their worship, it is necessary to ex- 
amine a little further the titles which were ascri- 
bed to them, and the emblems by which they were 
distinguished. Of those deities, the principal was 

picit faciem deserti JesimoJi.' Montium summitates ante alia 
loca divinis rebus olim destinatas, nonest cur adjungerem... 
Hinc etiam dictum Beelphegor yult Theodoretus ad Psalm, cv, 
alii« et Suidas, Bi f>^«yjp* Bf iA« K^ayoC ^tyup ^l roiroq s» J Irt^olo, 

ii £9 BM^$yvf ;. . , titi enim Jupiter Olympins, Mereurius Cy- 
lenius^ . .a montibus appellati : ita Baai 9eu Beius noster, queiii 
Jovem aut Belum Phegorium licet vocare. In Deut. xxxir. 
nentio est Domus Phegar, seu Beth-Peor in terra Moab, juxta 
quam vallis ilia in qua sepultus Moses. Certe Beth-Peor 
pro monte ubi templum nominis, quod Beth Ebraiee dicitiir, ibi 
simitur: ut Byi^^ayuv pro templo Dagonis^ &c. 

^^ Id. ibid. p. 1j65. Vhemos vocant Xufiuq LXX. intepretes; 
et vacamine tantummodo a Phegorio Deo himc distare sentit D. 
Hierpnymus. Ad Esiam Lib. V. * In Nab9 [hujus mentio 
£sai, XY. et Jen XFiii.] erat Chamos idolnm consectatum, quod 
alio nomine appellatur Beelphegor J' 

*9« Id. ibiq. Synt. II. cap. xii. p. 346. "Ntmien erat«ti«si 
Jfebo 5eu Naho, Esai. cap, xlvi. *■ CeciditBel, succubuit Nebe.' 
Nebo autem In Deut. xxii. com. 40. numtif Abatim eacumen. • • 
An a monte cognomine dictus Nebo ? Ad designatum Esat» 
locum, D. Hieronymus : ' Nabo et ipsum Idohim at, quod in* 
teipretatur prophetia et divinatio. . « .LXX. autem Seniores ip 
JEmse looo jam dicto : uvo>iur»i y»^ x^ ^iffSv, h S fivfjt^? IfAuv, id 
esrt, ^ vastatur Nebon ubi altare yestrum.' An As^^ legendmi 
ibi ? videtur sane. Nam Nebp, in eodem oomate lis est V»fiei rn^ 


obviously Baal-peor, who has been already men- 
tioned^ as identical with the Priapus of the wes- 
tern nations. Nor can any reasonable objection 
\}e urged against this conclusion, which is support- 
ed by the highest authority.*^ Were we destitute 
of historical evidence, that this obscene god, who 
was paid religious honors at Lampsacus, was im- 
ported from the East into Greece, his pedigree 
might be deduced from his name, which sufficient- 
ly reveals his descent from the idol worshipped in 

If conducted by this clue, we now take the des- 
cription of the oriental deity, from his western re- 
presentative, it appears that his image was form- 
ed, with a sceptre in his right hand, and with some 
emblems, characteristic of his depraved rites, of 
too gross a nature to admit of description/^* And 
as an identity is admitted, not only between Peor 
a;nd Chemosh/^ but as Nebo is also allowed to 

^ In this opinion, the critics and commentators seem with 
one voice to concur ; Grig, in Num. Hom. xx. p. 349. Hier. 
uti supr. p. 77. n. iTi. August, de Civ. Dei Lib. VI. cap. ix. 
Lib. V IL cap. iii. 8eld uti supr. p. 77. n. ^^i. Beyer Addit. 
in Seld. p. 241. Voss. de Idoioiatr. Lib. II. cap. vii. Spencer 
de Leg. Hebrae. Lib. II. cap. vii. p. 297. Fuller's Pisgah 
Sight. B. II. § 19. Cumberi. on Sachoniath. p. 67. Bryant 
Obs. on dif. pas. of Script, p. 24. n. Patrick on Num. xxv. 1. 
Newton Dissert, on Proph. &c. 

* 19* Voss. de Idolol. Lib. II. cap. vii. p. 174. " Hunc vero 
[Priapum] esse Baal-phegor etiam etymon ostendit, si fidere 
nostr«e licet conjectune ; nempe ut posterior pars in Priapo sit 
3M, ab, hoc est pater: prior autem sit nj^fi, Peor, sive Phegor :• • 
Hoc etymon si placet, Priapus significat Phegor-pater ; ut Ju- 
piter est Jovis pater; Mars piter est Mars pater/* &c. Vid. infr. 
n. w. 

199 Suid. Lex. VOC. Tl^\aw9i* to ayaX^ut T«r n^iavtf* • • •ai'S^««'0'- 
•»^f( votSc^ip, i» T^ ii^ict cneWlfov itarf ;i^op • • • • i » ^t ivuvvfAta x^etlSf 
TO a1^oTo9 avrS eprslocfif m)p. 

i9« Vid. supr. p. 88. n.^^i. Cpnf. Voss. de Idol. Lib. II. 
cap. viii. p. 176. 


have partaken of the common resemblance inr 
which they agreed ;*** we cannot greatly err, in 
supposing, that these idols, if not of the same kind, 
were atleast distinguished by the same emblems. 

Nor is this conclusion materially affected by the 
supposition, that Nebo or Peor rather agreed, 
with the Mercury^** than Priapus of the West ; as 
the resemblance which has been traced between 
the oriental originals was observed to extend also 
to their western descendants. Mercui^ and Priapus 
were alike represented in the form of a Terminus ; 
and in the disgraceful emblems by which they 
were distinguished, no difference is discoverable. 
The sceptre in the hand of the one corresponds 
with the rod in the hand of the other ; the serpents 
with which it was intwined marking its connex- 
ion with the ophite worship, which occupied a dis* 
tinguished rank in the Sabian superstitions. 

On a subject, rendered obscure from its antiqui* 
ty, considerable light is shed, by an account of 
some superstitions, which appear to have prevail- 
ed to a very late period, if they are not preserved 
to the present day, in the country originally pos* 

^^ Voss. ibid. p. 177. " Quare ex Hieronyjni mente Neho^ 
quando pro numine sumitur, idem Hi ae Chemot et Beeiphegor^** 
-Seld. uti supr. Syot. II. cap. xii. p. 841. *'Certe haut alium 
Neho a Ckamos et Belo Phegmio jure forsan putea." 

W Ant. Univ. Hist. Vol. II. p. 102. •• Nebo is thought by 
some to have been another deitv of the MoaMtei. It was., 

Sissibly fhe same at Mercvry.*' Hyde not. in Peritsol. Svnt 
issert. Tom. I. p. 63. <* Herodotus p. 12^. monet Mercttrn 
etiam statuam porrecto veretro fieri ; ita ut tam ad Mercurium 
•quam ad Bacchum referatur nomen liVD hn [Baal-peor]^ do* 
minus turpitudinis, et nirfi no [Beth Peor], locus tuipitudinis 
ubi colebatur." IJeiod. in Enterp. p. 123. r^ ^e 'Eff^itf aya%iui\a 

u'KOLitrwit 'ASr^aioi va^a^aS^iPtfiy x^'i. These statues are described 
*in similar terms by Plutarch, and Phurnutus , whose opinlonB 
are cited by Y ossius, uti supr. cap. ajLxii. p. 2^9^ 



6e8«ed by tltt Moabites. We are assured, on au? 
tliority which receives eonfirmation from the high- ( 
^st and most ancient sources/^ that the inhabi* 
tants of this region reverenced two idols. To one 
of these, which resembled the Saturn of the west- 
ern nations, they erected a black image formed of 
stone ; and to the other, which they identified with 
Mercury, they erected a white image of the same 
material. Twice in the year the worshippers of 
these idols paid them religious homage. The fes- 
tival in honor of Nebo or Mercury, as held when 
the sun entered ari&fy happened at the vernal equi- 
nox ; while that in honor of Peor or Saturn, as ob- 
served when the sun entered libra, occurred at the 

. ^99 Pettus Alphonsus, quoted by Beriihard Breidenbacfa, ap. 
Beyer Addit. in Seld. p. 822. atiosqae : '* Duo lilii Loth, Aoi'- 
inon scilicet et Moab. . . .duo colebant idola, unum ex albo fae« 
turn lapide quod Mercuriumt ftlteium ex nigro, quod Camug 
appellabant: et istud quidein, ex nigro lapide, in honorem 
Satuini, alterum ex albo m Martis [I. Mercurii] honoretn ve« 
neiabantur. Etbis ib anno ad bsec idola adoranda eorum as- 
ceodeb^nt cultores. Ad Martem [1. Mei curiam] quando sol 
jntiat aiietis gradum. • • .in cujus discehsione, ut mos erat, h" 
pidei jactchantur. Ad datum uiii verO quando sol primum gra- 
dual librtt ingiediebatur. .sicque nudi ac tonsis eaptilms thuiiti- 
cabant." There can be no doubt that Mars has been substituted, 
in this extract, for Mercury ; the niDJlD, or^E^fxaTot \o^oi, erect- 
ed in whose honor, by casting stones in a heap, were so ancient 
as to be mentioned by Solunion, Prov. xxvi. 8. and Homer* 
Odyss. n. 471. This custom which is mentioned in the prece- 
ding extract, is desdtibed by Phurtiutus, Ubi supr. ft^oe-«tf^svtt<ri St 

i^i ; and by Maimonides, d» tdolatr. cap. iii. § 1. as the authority 
of this Writer conArtds the preceding extract from Petius Al- 
phonsiis, I shall quote him moie fully; 'yjtt^m inmrtt^ iirs — 

O^Jin, — *Pe&t whom they worshipped by uncovering thenaehet 
before hm; and Mercury ^ whom they worshipped by cwstiny 
stones at him, or scatter tng stones before him.* Conf. Buxt. Lex. 
V. *ii)fD, col. 17B0. V. o^^ipno, col. 1*263. Yoss. de Idol. Lib. 
lab II. cap.xxxti. Seld* liti infr. p. 96. n.^. 

N 2 


autumnal. And in the offices performed on these 
occasions, the most ancient customs were preser^ 
ved ; the worshippers of Mercury raising a sacred 
mound in his honor, while those of Saturn appear- 
ed in a state of nakedness before him. While this 
account receives some confirmation from the state- 
ment of the most learned Hebrew writers, it bears 
internal evidence of its traditional accuracy. , In 
the term Camus, which it bestows on one of the 
gods of the Moabites; it preserves one of the most 
ancient titles by which the divinities of that people 
were distinguished ; and in identifying the other 
with Saturn, it coincides in the views which it 
gives of their superstition with the most credible 
accounts that have been transmitted to us from an- 
tiquity, in which that god is represented as identical 
with Bel or Baal.^^ As to the causes which led to 
those deities being considered the same, they may 
be collected from Sanchoniatho, from whom we 
learn, that Cronus, who was Bel, was consecrated 
in the planet Saturn/ 


««> Serv. in ^neid. T. 729. " £«/?»-->] ingu a Punica Bal 
dicitur, apud Assyrios Bel dicitur, quadam sacrorum ratione, 
et Saturnus^^* &c. Theophil. Antioch. Lib. III. p. Ib9. a. ivio» 

fi.tit cificvruk Toy K^ovof, jc^ r^roy avrop ofo/xa^&at BqX «e^ BaX, i4.a7.%rot 
cl olKOv»Ttq rat oifoPo- iku KTiifxara • • . • wa^a ^f 'Pa;^aMK Xarot'iryo? otofAci' 

{crai. Hier. Com. in Is. xlvi. 1. ** Quem Graeci Belum, Latini 
Snfvmum vocant." 
^^ Sanchon ap. Euseb. Prsep. £v. l^ib. I. cap. x. p. 40. 

K^o»o; Toirty, ov o» <lo.niL%% *\K ir^o^ayopfiWu . • mfiirk rvif Tot> ^ttf rc^- 
ffriv, lU Toy rov Kf09U ocri^ct xaSi.pwdt«( tuk. For 'l^aq^, which 

occurs in the text of Eusebius, loc. cit. and Lib IV. cap. xvi. 
p. 156. d. I have substituted ""ix, on the authority of the context, 
which reads, ibid. p. 38. a. o'l>o. t^vr Er<y o K^opof. The substi- 
tution has been obvionsly made in the text, m consequence of 
'ix being the common abreviation of *lc^a^\ in the ms. copies of 
the New Testament. After having thus accounted for the cor- 
ruption of the text and justified its emendation ; if it be thought 
ito require further authority, it may be found in the following tea«» 



^ *>. /, J, „■ 

..}- THE 


Prom this desultory account of the idols of the 
Moabites, a sufficiently accurate notion may be 
formed of the superstitions of that people, when 
Balaam proceeded at the requisition of balak, to 
devote the Israelites to destruction. When we 
behold the prophet, led to the hills which were con- 
secrated to the Moabite gods, and delivering him- 
self amid the altars which smoked with their oflier- 
ings ; it would appear extraordinary, while he de- 
nounced judgment against* Moab, if no sentence 
Avas passed on her idolatrous worship. The neces^ 
sity of avoiding this difficulty determines the sense 
of the passage in which he delivers himself, after 
declaring his confident hope that he would, one 
day, behold the Redeemer : 

A star shall proceed out of Jacob, 
A sceptre shall rise out of Israel, 
And shall break the Termini of Moab : 

The images thus chosen by Balaam possessed 
a sufficient recommendation to the prophet, ip the 
appositeness with which they expressed " the 
power and glory" of Him whose advent he predict- 
ed. But those attributes might have been ex- 
pressed without a figure, or represented by other 
images, which were qo less descriptive or forci- 
ble.*** Those which the prophet selected are not 

timony of an oriental bishop, who has^ been just quoted ; The- 
ophil. uti supr. p. 139. b. o K^ovo? i o B^x* • • •uvo '£I(p»Tov (po^)f 

' ^^ llius the Messiah is termed by the prophet Malachi, iv. 
2. npiy VOQ^, ' the Sun of righteousness;' and our Lord teimed 
the sons of Zebedee, Marc. iii. 17. ttrii'i ^Jl , or as it is rendered 
in the Syriac, )v>v < «aLO, ' the sons of Thunder.' The appear- 
ance of our Lord b likened to that of the sun. Rev. i. 16. and 
his coming compared to the descent of lightning. Matt. xxiv. 
27. Luc. xvii. 24. By those images Balaam might have des- 


tkierely adapted to his subject, but were sugge^ed 
by the objects which presented themselves to hil; 
observation. Baal, it has been already observed, 
Was consecrated in the star Saturn ; and he was 
represented by an image bearing a sceptre in its 
hand.**** The idol had appropriated the honors and 
engrossed the worship of the Divine Personage, 
whose advent the prophet taught the Moabites to 
expect at a future period. In the science cultiva- 
ted in Chaldea from the remotest antiquity, it was 
besides inculcated, that there would be a restitu- 
tion of all things, after a revolution of years ; and 
the commencement of the new epoch was calcu- 
lated by the rising of particular stars.^ To the er* 

cribed his advent, had he not had a particular object in view, 
in characterising his appearance, by the rising star, and HpHfted 

«>» Vid. supr. p. e9. n. W. p. 92. n. ^K 

*^ I have alieady observed on the authority of Berosus, as 
preserved by Seneca, that the Chaldeans expected a gieat resti- 
tution at the end of their Annus Maximus ; Vid. iupr. p. 34. hfi^^ 
p. 10. n. ^. Censorinus speaking of their Gieat Year, ob* 
serves, De Die Natal, cap. xviii. *VHuic Anno [ex annis ter- 
tentihus duodecim] Lkaldaico nomen est^ quern Genethliaci noit 
ad tolls lutuB^ue cursus, sed observationes alias habent accomMO'- 
datum : quod in eo dicunt tetnpestates, frugumque proventiii* 
sterilitates, item tnorbosque circumire.'* ^ith the Great Year 
of the Egyptians, who borrowed their astronomical knowledge 
from the Chaldeans, the same writer was better acquainted ; he 
speaks of its beginning as determined, not only by the rising of 
a star, but of a star which was termed Thoth and Seth ; Censor 
rin. ibid. p. 107. ** Ad ^gyptiorum veio Avniik Magnum iuntf 
non pertinet, quem Graece xt;»ixof, Latine cbnnivular^m voca- 
mus, piopterea i^uod initium illius sumitur^ cum primo die ejdi 
mensis quem vocant d*-gyptii Thot, Canicufa sidvs exoritvr" 
It IS against those ** observations of times,'* mentioned by Cen- 
spiinus, and by which the Chaldaic Genethliaci were dlr^ted 
io prognosticating the occurrence of future evehts, that the 
Levitical law was directed, vid. supr. p. 80. n. *7«. and th6 
Allusion to them by Moses is a sufficient testimony, that they 
were more ancient than the times of Balaam. 


rors which prevailed on these subjects the prophe- 
cy of Balaam is directly opposed. la declaring, 
that in " the latter days," at the end or •* consum- 
mation of the age,"^ when the Messiah would ap- 

A star should proceed out of Jacobs 
A sceptre should rise out qf IstmI: 

He directs their attention, from the appearance 
of a natural phenomenon to the advent of a Divine 
Person, who would be of the house of Israel and 
lineage of Jacob. And he annihilates the grounds 
of that confidence which they reposed in the dei- 
ties distinguished by those symbols, by declaring, 
that, on the appearance of this Personage, their 
images would be broken and their worshippers 

And shall breal: the Termini^^ of Moah^ 

«W Vid. aupr. p. dZ. ii.i« p. 70. n.^^ 

9Qfi The various signification^ assigned to the term *nKa, in the 

lationa* may be coni^iciered from that of ' Termini,' as I con- 
ceive it should be rendered, an analogy may be traced bet^^eeii 
those different significations, which will at least justify the li- 
berty I have taken, in departing from their authority. Th(g 
word nio:i*iQ, Prov. xxyi. 8. which I have already explained, 
supr. p. nn. n. ^99. is obviously a cognate term of nD;)1, Ps. 
Ixviii. 28. Both are derived from d:i"), tapidare^ lapidibm 
olnruere ; the former differing from the latter but in having the 
particle p prefixed to it, which is exclusively applicable to it. 
as a preposition of place, contracted from the particle, ro. 
But by Pagnini, Thesaur. Ling Sanct. sub^ voc. uy\ qol. ^24. 
the one term is explained, *' Psal. Ixviii. 28' pirincipey Jehudabt 
Onojri, duce9 eorum : ut LXX. sen, ducati^, principatu$: 
and th6 other, " Hinc est et nmno, congr^atio tapidum^seQui^'' 
dum Bab. David, in libro Radicum . • • • noJilDi . • R. David, in 
acerw /aptcficiR.. . .Hieronymua, in acervmm MercuriL'^ Vid. 
infr. a. ^^. et n. ^^K The grounds of this affinity appear to me 



And destroy all the sons of Seth. 

It is a singular fact, and such as throws consid- 
erable light upon this difficult passage, that the 
idols which have been described as worshipped by 
the Assyrians, and as transported into the West 
1 by the Palasgic and Phenician colonists, were 
made in the form of a Terminus. In the early age 
of Grecian art, Priapus and Mercury, who were 
the immediate descendants of Peor, Chemos and 
Nebo, were uniformly represented by a member- 
less trunk, to which a bust merely was added in 
the more refined period of sculpture. We are 
therefore not likely to err in taking our notions of 
the oriental model from the western copy. We 
have the authority of the most ancient historian of 
the West, that those deities were directly import- 
ed from the East ;*^ and in the retention of the o- 
riental names,^ and preservation of the rude form 

to lie in the circumstance of princes having assumed the titles 
of those gods to whom those sacred mauftdf and termini were 
erected. Such was the god Nebo, whom we have seen identifi^ 
ed with Mercury: and of whose title Selden declares, De Dis. 
Syr. Synt. II. cap. xii. " Vestigia hujus nominis habes in^ 
Nabuchadnezar, Nabuzaradan, Babvloniorum Nabonito, Na- 
bonassaro. . • • Nabonabo et hujusmodi aliis. Supra enim ad- 
monuimus Deorum nomina Principum nominibus, uti bona omi- 
na, scepissime adjecta" 

^^ Herodotus uti snpr. p. 90. n. '^s. admits that those idols 
k were first brought into Greece by the Pelas^ians. This people,* 
I it is generally admitted, came originally out of the East; from 
; whence they br6ught the use of letters into the West; they 
) spoke a language which was radically the same as the Chaldee : 
• see Bryant's Mythol. Vol. III. p. 397. 405. 4to. 

«<* The term Priapus has been traced to the oriental aH nijTD, 
supr. p. 89. n. ^9^« and the name Mercury had a like original ; Dis. Syr. Synt. II. cap. xv. "In Proverbiis Solo- 
monis cap. xx vi. com. 8. . . < Sicut qui mittit lapidem in acervttm 
Mercnrii,* «Src. . . Ebraica Veritas habet no<31Da, id est, 'in 
Mergamah,^ ex qua voce Mercurium formarunt, uti vides, prisci/* 


which their statues ever possessed, we have no in* 
conclusive proof, that the only change which they 
underwent, was that of place, in their migration 
from Asia to Europe. 

Should there be any one of opinion, that a pre- 
ference is still due to the literal force of the pass- 
age, *' shall smite the cormrs of Moab ;" in which 
version it must be admitted, he will stand opposed, 
with scarcely any exception, to the authority of 
the translators ancient and modern ; even in this 
view of it, the allusion of the prophet to the popu- 
lar superstitions may be supported. It appears 
that such sites were not only chosen for the erec- 
tion of idols, but that they were appropriated to 
the images of Baal. Of Ahaz, who was irreclaim- 
ably addicted to this superstition, it is recorded, 
that^ " he walked in tht ways of the kings of Israel, 
and made also molten images for Baalim'' that 
" he shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, 
and made him altars in evert/ corner of Jerusalem. 
And in every several city of Judah he made high 
places to burn incense unto other gods." 

In a word, these idolatrous objects had so obvious 
a connexion, with the scene in which Balaam's pre- 
dictions were delivered, that the difficulty really 
lies in conceiving, how they could have been dis- 

Conf. infr. %. ^^K The name Hermes may be traced to the 
same root: in continuation 8elden observes; *' AJenurim e- 
n'lmt id est Hermes, viarum ptoses erat." And shortly after; 
** Margemah autem a oan, ragam, id est lapidibvs obruit, deduci 
Yoluut, qui ibi MerkolU intelligunt, et * lapidum jactum ' inter- 
pretantur. £t Rabbi Nathan loco jam citato nmny (inquit) 
D»n« noun, 'cultus ejus est lapidum j actus,' seu Ragemath, 
cui Margemah cognatum esse volunt.'^ From the oriental root, by 
taking an oriental prefix, Hermes, as well as Mercury may be 
consequently deduced; the one assuming D and the other n 
before no:in, from oan. 

W 2 Chron. xxvliii. 2. 24. 25. 


regarded by the prophet, in his denunciations of 
Moab. The whole of the mountainous tract, to the . 
summits of which he had been conducted, to pro- 
nounce his maledictions, was termed Abarim, from 
the passes with which it was intersected, or the pans- 
ers by whom it was frequented.*'® That such per- 
sons should erect mounds in such places, to Mer- 
cury, or Nebo, who gave a name to the principal 
mountain, was not merely an observance recom- 
mended by custom, but a rite enjoined by religi- 

If it be therefore allowed, that Balaam atall al- 
ludes to the Moabite idols, it will be readily ad- 
mitted, that he refers to their worshippers, when 
he declares, in the context. 

He shall destroy all the ^ows ofSeth : — • 

Yet is the Cainite reserved for destruction. 
Until the Assyrian shall take Moab captive. 

In favor of the conclusion, that under the terms 
here used by the prophet, some sects of the Sabi- 
an superstition must be intended, no inconsider- 
I able presumption is conveyed in the fact, that nei- 
ther term can be taken in the sense it is usually 
J assigned, and understood literally of the lineal des- 
1 cendants of Seth, and the Kenites to whom Moses 
I was allied by marriage. In the Patriarch, from 
whom the Sethite heretics derived their name, 
commenced the line in which the expected Deli- 
verer was descended, and the Kenites existed on 

«o Vid. supr. p. 85. n.W 

«" Seld. ubi supr. p. 251. " Quid autem * acervus Mercurii* 
denotet breviter erniarrandum. A taero enim ritu erat id ad 
quod interpres [loc. cit. Prov. xxvi. 8.] digitum iDtendit, et ab 
Orientali culiu. Erant apud priscos *E^^aro» ^of o», sive lapidum 
accrvi Mercuriales, seu 'Z^fjiuTec^ vits publicis et comjnih ad iti- 
nera dewonstranda cmgesti, quos transeunteg viaiores crebro la- 
pidum jactu t» Mercurii honorem augebant.** 


€uch amicable terms with the Israelites, that they 
■ were separated from the Amalekites, when those 
judgments were carried into effect,*" to which the 
prophet alludes in his context ; 


. The Amalekite is the head of the nations. 
But his end is appointed for destruction : 

As in this view of the subject, the prophet must 
have proscribed the Redeemer himself, among the 
lineal descendants of Seth; and have devoted a 
nation •* to destruction," which were in amity with 
Israel ; recourse must necessarily be had to a dif- 
ferent principle of exposition, to arrive at the sig- 
nification of the prediction. And as we are redu- 
ced to the alternative, of believing, that the terms 
used by the prophet were either paternal names, 
or assumed titles ; there seems little reason to he- 
sitate in adopting the latter, as the only probable 
conclusion. When indeed we consider the extra- 
ordinary permanence of the sect by which the 
name of Sethite has been assumed ;*^' the claims 
which they lay to an original, antecedent even to 
the deluge,*" and the chain of evidence by which 
they are supported in their pretensions ;*^* the au-r 
thority on which they are referred to the times of 
Balaam,*^® and the extraordinary coincidence M^hich 
exists between the superstitions which they still 
retain, and* those which prevailed in the age of the 
^^lesopptemian prophet :*" it is only reasonable to 
conclude, STat the title assumed by that ancient 
sect has not been less permanent, than their rites 
and opinions; and of consequence, that it is a- 
gainst the Stthites, whose superstition exists to the 

^^^ Comp. Judf^es, i. 16. with 1 Sam. xv. 6. and Exod. xvii. 
14. wi h 1 Sam. ib. 7. 

«" Vid. 8upr. p. 12. «>* Ibid. «i« Supr. p. 24. seq. 
«i« Supr. p. 35. siT^ Supr. p. 74. seq. 

O 2 



prei^ent day, that the denunciation of the prophet 
IS directed. 

This conclusion receives even additional con- 
firmation in the solution of the only difficulty 
which remains, and which it is of the last impor- 
tance to the main object of these researches, to re- 
solve : — from whence had those deities their ori- 
gin, to whose altars the king of Moab resorted, for 
support, against the armies of Israel, and into 
whose worship the Israelites were seduced, by the 
suggestions of the prophet whom he employed as 
his counseler? 

A solid foundation is laidf or our deductions, on 
this subject, by an inspired writer, whose testimo- 
ny has created no slight embarrassment to the 
constructors of mythological hypotheses, on physi* 
cal and allegorical principles. In mentioning the 
initiation of the Israelites in the mysteries of Baal^ 
peor, he describes the sacrifices of which they 
participated as " the offerings of the dtad''^^ Aa 

*^« Ps. cvi. 28. D»nD »nat iSa^M iiys ^yaV novn, ' and they 
were initiated in (the rites of) Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices 
of the deadJ Thus the passage is rendeted in the ancient ver- 
sions, with the exception ot* the A rabic, to which a preference 
is given by D. Vossius, who has coUected them in the following 
passage, in which he supersedes the opinion passed by Seidett 
on this text ; Not. in Maimou. de Idolol. cap. iii. § 2. " Verum 
magh mihi placet sententia Nicholai Lyrani, sic interpretantis, 
* Comederunt de carnibus animalium idoHs immoiatorum / ut 
0*nD *nit noR sint carnes qua; pro mortuis'offeruntur, sed corses 
immolat<B, sive *,liay<o^vTa: quod certe miki valde piaet^, cun et 

Arabs eodem modo transtulerit, jU^ ULs«\^9 sacrifidamoThmi* 
Syms, j^«;^t j^y, * sacriiicia mertitarttm,' ut Hebraeus: etian 
Graeci ^vtriatq nx^uf, et Chaldaeus habet, «»n»D nD3»j, * oblation- 
em martuorum,** In this partiality, I trust, this admirer of the 
Arabic is not likely to have a rival. Of the modern versions, 
the following coincide with the principal ancient ; to which the 
Latin Vulgate remains to be added, which reads, ' sacriticia 
mortiwrum.* The Italian accordingly reads, * dei sacrifici de' 


the psalmist obviously follows the account of Mo- 
ses and adopts his language, a collation of their 
testimony enables us at once to decide, that it was 
to their departed ancestors that those religious ho- 
nors were paid by the Moabites- As the historic 
an represents those offerings as ** the sacrifices of 
the gods^'^ which the prophet describes as *' the sa- 
crifices of the dead ;'' the most obvious and natural 
mode of reconciling their testimony lies in the in- 
ference, tliat they deified ^nd worshipped the deadJ^^^ 
If we now consider, from what progenitors, the 
Moabites were derived ; that, as the descendants of 
Lot, they deduced their origin from the same 
source as the Hebrews ; and that the history of this 
people preserves an authentic account of their 
common ancestors, it affords an adequate test by 
which the truth of our inquiries may be proved. 
I shall confine my attention to a simple explana- 
tion of the titles which they have ascribed to their 

marti ;' the Spanish, * los sacrificios de lot muertogf* and the £»•» 
glish, * the sacrifices of the dead.^ The French indeed para- 
phrases the passage, ' des sacritices des idoles mortes ; and the 
German, in the same sense, ' von den Opfem der todien Gikzni :^ 
of which sen«e. an equally labored and inefficient defence, may 
be found in the elder Vossius, De Idol, Lib. II. cap. vii. p. 172, 
of which more by and by. In balancing the foregoing suffrs^ges, 
it appears, that the Chaldee, Syriac, Greek, Latin, English » 
Italian and Spanish, in which the most important suffrages are 
included, assign that sense to the passage, which I venture to 

^^9 It has been justly observed by Vossius, on the passage, 
quoted in the last note, though be had not skill to make use of 
the remark, De Idol, ubi supr. p. 172. — '' quod locus ille Psalmi 
[cvi. 38.] expresaus sites. Numer. xxv. 2 : ubi simpliciter legas; 
' N am in vitaverunt populum ad saeritieia detrum snarum.' Quod 
ilUc * sacrificia deorum^* illud hie * sacrilicia mortuomm." From 
this analogy a man of plain understanding would be merely led 
to conclude, that this people dtified and wotshippod /A« dmd. 
Bat by the help of a little critteaji wire-drawing» thts writer easily 
proves that they worshipped idoU, or the sim and the'€tor«. 




deities, and in the language which they spoke ; and 
to a brief recapitulation of the incidents which 
compose the mythological history of those divini - 
ties : on confronting the sacred with tlie fabulous 
account, the inference may be then left in the 
hands of the reader. 

The highest title which was bestowed on those 
deities, and which constitutes the first part in the 
composition of Baal-peor, was the common appel- 
lation of the Assyrian gods. In decyphering this 
title, there is little difficulty to encounter : as it is 
not merely a significant term, but expressive of 
the same sense in the different dialects of the As- 
syrian, it may be therefore considered a proper 
term of that language. In whichever of the dia- 
lects of the Semitic we attempt to trace its origin, 
it proves to be simply an epithet expressive of do- 
minion, and analogous to Lord.^^^ And it carries 

820 Pagnin. Thes. Ling. Sanct. rad. ^ya : " qutcunque est 
dnminvs et patrontig alicftp/s rei appellatur hvi% Dominys," &C, 
He derives it from a root which he thus explains; lb. '* Vpi, in 
conjijgalione Kal, est Dominari, dominivm habere.** And the 
verb must have had this sense in the Assyrian, as retained in its 
dialects, if Hotttnger*s opinion be just, who thus explains it. 
Lex. Harm, sub voc. p 38. ** ^pi daminatvsfmtt Heb. Chald. 
Syr. Arab, sic iEthiop. dives Juit" Though the idolatrous 
sense ascribed to the term Vjri, brought it into disuse, (vid. 
H OS. ii. 16.) and it is generally superseded in the Syriac by 
\^'^ and l^\#. and in the Chaldee bv no, MQ^Vit^ ; yet in these 
early dialects of the Assyrian, as well as in the Hebrew, it re- 
tained its original sense of Lord: vid. Castel. Lex. Syr. ed. 
Michael, p. 111. Buxt. Lex. Chald. col. 333. The notion, 
that this term is a proper name derived from a monarch of the 
Babylonians, and applied, as the term Caesar, to future mo- 
narchs, is wholly untenable; vid. Brucker. Hist. Phil. Lib. IL 
cap. ii. § 2. p. 123. The existence of the verb hjf2, is a suffici- 
ent refutation of this conjecture; and the cognate mhm, by 
which we have seen it is superseded in the Chaldee and Syriac» 
in giving rise to the title Sultan, in Chaldee fsW, in Syriac , 

j^^V^j in Arabic^ (^, ^UaX.<w> is a sufficient proofs that the titles 


with it this evidence of its descent and meaning, 
that the sense which it acquired in those dialects 
corresponds with the rise and progress of civil au- 
thority among the people by whom they were ver- 
nacularly spoken. As dominion^ in the primitive 
ages originated in the paternal and patriarchal au- 
thority, out of which the monarchal and despotic 
arose ; the term !?J^3 /?^^// which expresses the idea, 
so far avouches its original, as it properly signifies 
the ruler of a family ; in which sense, it is of impor- 
tance to observe, that it is almost exclusivelv used 
in that dialect of the Assyrian in which it is most 
natural to conceive that early language is chief- 
ly preserved.^** 

From the general term Baal, which was the 
common title of the Assyrian deities, we must 
therefore turn to the adjunct Peor, with which it 
is compounded, for an epithet expressive of the at- 
tributes of the divinity to which it is applied. This 
title, of which it is equally remarkable, that it pre- 
vades the dialects of the Assyrian, and may be 
consequently regarded as a proper term of that 

of oriental monarchs have originated in significant terms. The 
supposition that the name of Baal was originally the title of 
the Almighty, as the learned Selden supposed, is perfectly 
reconcilable with the preceding observations ; but it is exposed 
to great difficulties, which 1 cannot admit him, with all my ad- 
miration of his inexhaustible erudition, to have wholly removed ; 
vid. De Dis. Syr. Synt. II. cap. i p. 195. 

^*' In corroboration of the above assertion, I shall extract 
from the most reputed Lexicons of the Hebrew, Chaldee and 
Syriac, the significations annexed to the term hytl\ regarded 
both as a verb and noun; hvi, Heb. *'possidere ut dominus, 
maritum esse — patronus, maritus." Pagnin. ed. Mercer, col. 
291. ^jri, CAa/c/.*' synechdochice significat dominium maritale, 
i. e. maritus fieri — maritus, herus." Buxtorf. col. 331. VV^^ , 
Syr, "nupsit — dominus, maritus." Castel. ed. Michael, p. 111. 
In the Syriac it is nearly confined to the latter sense ; while in 
the Hebrew, and Chaldee it obtains a more extended and high- 
er signification y expressing also to ru/e and Lord: vid. supr. n,^^ 



language, possesses in those dialects the significa^ 
tion of naked^ umovereclJ^^^ And with a title having 
this sense, the description given of the deity to 
which it is applied, but too accurately accords. 
In the representation of Priapus, with whom Baal* 
peor is identified, nothing was so remarkable as 
the offensive nakedness of his forni. The circum- 
stances of his history, as stated by the best inform- 
ed of the ancients^^ are few but characteristic. 

*^^ Mercer, in his additions to Pagnini, has thus explained the 

term, which he derives from the verb nrc, aper ire, Scc. Thes« 

Ling. $anct. col. 2209. " Hinc mrD et lira ^ri . . . . idolum 

apud Moabitas, ab apertiene et miditate, quod Dens esset tur- 

pitudinis et libidiuis, quae in hac lingua nuditatu nomine signifi-^ 

^ catur. Priapum voce nonnihil detorta nostri appeilarunt. 

; Cujus cultus in comessationibus et omni lascivia effreni libine 

versabaniur. Num. xxv. Jehos. xxii. unde et Monti in Moab- 

: itide nomen fuit Pehor, ubi et templum dei fatt et cultus," c^c. 

'; This title, as significant, and derived from a root which generaltj^ 

' prevails in the Semitic dialects, could not have been uaknowtt 

; to the primitive Assyrian; besides the Heb. ij^fi, * aperuit^^, 

\ Pagnin ibid, the Chaldee possesses < ni? a, aperire,..r€j^e^erey' 

nudare.* Buxt. Lex. c. 1780. the Syriac,' 'Vov . apervit disten- 

' dit, unde j^a^ dmictus^ Cast. Lex. p. 719. the Arabic J^/ 
' aperuitt apertio. dee. The silly and disgusting trifling or the 
Kabbinical doctors, in the etymology of this title of the Moabite' 
idol may be seen in Selden, who passes on it the sentence which 
it deserves; De Dis. Syr. Synt. I. capi v. p. 158. 162. in which 
\ he has been honored with the concurrence of the Vossiuses/soa 
and sire. 

*«* Voss. de Idol. Lib. IL cap. vii, p. 172, — «* Isidorus Orig. 
Lib.. Vlil. cap. xi...sic scribit : ** Beelphegor interpretatus 
simulachrum ignominiae: idolum enim fuit Moab, cognomento 
Baal, super moiitem Phegor, quern Latini Friapvm vocant« 
deum hortorum. Fuit enim de Lampsaco civitate Hellespooti^ 
de qua pulsus est : et propter virilis membri magnitudinem in 
numerum deorum auorum eum Grseci transtulerunt, et in nomi- 
ne '* [/. numine] ** sacraverant hortorum: unde et dicitur prtBesse. 
hortis, propter eorum fcecunditatem.'' Ac praeivit ea part^ Ser- 
vius in Georg. IV. 

£t eustosfurum, atque avium cumfahe saligna> 
Ellespontiaci servet tutela Priapu 



€rardeff8 we^e supposed to be under his protection ; 
the obscenity of his appearance; it was belietied, 
hiad occasioned his expulsion from his native soil; 
after whicli he was deified, and becsune the god of 
the cultivated grounds, which he protected. In 
the different representations of his figure, we find 
his sceptre exchanged for a sickle;*^* but of tliis 
substitution his history affords a sufficient solu- 
tion, which represents him as reduced from the 
rank of a monarch to the humble state of a hus* 

This short sketch of the most ancient of the 
gods of tlie Moabites I now submit, to be compa* 
red with an account of the earliest of the ancestors 
of that people ; which was drawn up by a contem- 
porary of Balaam, but a short time previous to tlie 
seduction of the Israelites to the worship of that 
deity, through the suggestions of the prophet. Af- 
ter re|H*esen ting the creation of Adam, and record- 
ing the blessing pronounced on him and his part-^ 
»er/^ " to be fruitful and multiply, to replenish the 
earth> and to subdue it, and have dominion over it ;" 
the sacred historian proceeds; ^^"and the Lord God 
planted a garden eastward in Eden.' . . and he 
*' took the man and put him into the garden j to dress 
it, and to keep it. , , And they were both of them na - 
ked, the man and his wife and were not ashamed." 
The detail of the fall by the temptation of the 

" Hie " inquit, " Pnapus full de Lampsaco, civitate Helles- 
ponti : de qua pulsus propter virilis membri magnitudinemj post 
til numerum deomm reoeptus^ meruit nuilten esse hart»ruiA* 
Yet after the detail of ttu^e testimonies, the learned eiter gra<re-> 
ly aasuies 119; lUbii..*' J^riap%m vero pvcmvi esse Solem, multis 
adstruitur aigunHmlia/' 
^* Comp. Suida^^ swpr. p. 89. n. *^. Virgil, supr. p. 104. 

' ««« Gen. i. 2$. ««« bd. ii. 8. 15. 25. 


Serpent succeeds, with the curse of sorrow m 
bearing children, and in laboring the ground, res- 
pectively pronounced against the transgressors ; 
and the kiarrative thus closes, with the account of 
their expulsion from paradise ; ^" therefore the 
Lord God sent kirn forth from the garden of Eden, 
to tilt the ground, from whence he was taken." It 
must be superfluous, to pursue the description fur* 
ther, or draw a formal parallel, where the coinci- 
dence is rendered obvious by the resemblance of 
the objects compared. I trust also I shall need 
no forgiveness, for declining to violate the modesty 
of the leafy girdle, which even a pagan hand has 
spread over the offensive part of the picture ; — 

Hie deas e patrio praenobilis Hellesponto, 

Venit ad usque Itsdos, sacris cum turpibus, hortos, 

Turpiter adfixo pudeat quern visere ramo. 

Prudent contr. Sym. Lib. II. p. 263. 

From this representation, I willingly turn to 
the consideration of the other fabulous descendant 
of the Assyrian deity, who passed to a still more 
westerly region, in which he was known under the 
title of Saturn.*^ But on this subject it will not be 
necessai-y to dwell ; as the likeness which the copy 
bears to the great original, which has given rise to 
various imitations, is so striking that it has been 
frequently noticed. As the oriental superstitions 
have been, in this instance, adopted by a grave 
and virtuous people, they have lost much of their 
eastern licentiousness. Sufficient evidence of their 
original has been however retained. The name of 
Saturn as well as Priapus is oriental and signifi- 
cant ; but unlike tlie title of this offensive deity, 
it was adopted, not from his exposure but his con- 
cealment ; one name being deducible from an epi- . 

««7 Gen. iii. 23. ««» Vid. supr. p. 92. n. ^ 


tbet signifying naked, ar uncoveredj the other 
from one signifying hid or conceakd'""'-^ But how- 
ever striking the contrast between these epithets, 
it is not less obvious, that they have been taken 
from the same, original. A single .authority from 
the sacred volume will justify the assertion r^^'' and 
the eyes of them both were opened, and they 

knew that they w^re naked: and Ada??z and 

his wife hid themselves from the presence of die 
Lord God, among the trees of the ; garden." As 
my present purpose engages me in the considera- 
tion of the oriental superstitions ; I shall leave in 
other hands, the application of this remark, and 
the production of those striking coincideiicest, 
which prove, that the easlern traditions contribu- 
ted, in no smail degree, to the composition, of the 
western fable. '^^ 

229 Even from Vossiiis, whose svstera led him to identify all 
the gentile divinities with the »Smw, the force of truth exacted a 
different sentence respecting Saturn, whom he acknow ledger to 
have been the same as Bel or Baal. After quoting some pas- 
sages of the poets, descriptive of the Golden Age, he observes, 
De Idol. Lib. I. cap. xviii. ]). 72. ** Quam belle ea convenrurit 
iiominis statui in paraaiso. \Jt mihi quidem duhiurii sit nullum, 
qilln ex tiaditione aliqua ha^c hauserint poet^. Nempe prima 
liQminum a&tas in poetis est eadem, ac prima in Scri^jturis : eo- 
que Saiumus est idem ac Adam, Saturn um enim non aliud 
qudni hominem fuisse ; ne gentium quidem historici negare ausi 
nnquam fuerunt. Advocare eos omnes longum foret." After 
referriog to several authorities and quoting Tertullian at large, 
he subjoins ; .** Si omnes gentium Dii Jvere koiuines; n^c ante 
SaturnufD nil us gentium deus fuit : quis Saturmis nisi Adamits? 
Quid mirum sit si tam multa, quae cohveniebaht A damo, gentiles 
tribueriht Saturno. Quod n'omen turn niefiiit A damns cum pk- 
ddre nudttatii se absc&nderet a facie Domini. Ntim nno satcti' 
Hebraeis latere ; ut Satumtts idewt fiit ac Ldtius *! <^g. 

230 Cien. iii. 7. . 

231, though he again relapses into the old dream of a 
sol&r hypothesis, thus sums up the affinities on which his conclu- 
«ion is fouqded. that Adam and Saturn are identical ; De Phvs. 

1' 2 


After Baal, Nebo demands our consideration ; 
as these were not only the divinities to whom the 
j mountains were consecrated, whither Balaam was 
'i conducted by Balak, but the great national gods of 
^ the Assyrians. In the interpretation of the title 
of this idol we are not left to uncertain conjecture ; 
as it has been explained by a learned ancient, w ho 
has contributed not a little to the illustration of 
the oriental superstitions, by establishing their con- 
nexion with the western mythology. He assigns 
it the signification of prophecy ^ divination f^^ and the 
etymology is the more valuable, as this sense is 
common to the- term, in those dialects of the As- 
syrian, in which the signification of the cognate ti- 
tle has been traced. A*closer attention, however, 
to the orthogi-aphy of the term, and the grammati- 
cal structure of those dialects, justifies the asser- 
tion, that it bore a participial force, and properly 
signified, foretold, prophesied.' 


Christ, cap. ix. p. 173. — '' initium nobis faciendum sit ab A- 
damo, qui in Saturno cultus. . .Saturnum esse eundem ac Adam- 
us, quod is dicatur Coeli et Telluris filius ; quod tradatur toti 
imperasse oibi ; quod aurea sub eo aetas fuisse credatur ; quod 
regno sit expulsus; quod reperta ab eo agricultura. Quae omnia 
liulli aeque conveniunt ac A damo, a Deo e terra formato, do- 
mino totius orbis constituto, ante peccatum felicissimo, post pec- 
catum ejecto e paradiso, et primo agricola.'' 

^^^ Hieron. in £s. xivi. 1. " Nabo autem et ipsum idolum 
'est quod interpretatur prophetia et divinatio, quam post evan- 
gelii veritatem in toto orbe conticuisse significat." Thus we find, 
in the various dialects of the Assyrian, the root from which 
the title is derived, in the Heb. KlJ, Chald. *ianM, Syr. «aI^Z|» 

Arab. Lx3, and Ethiop. OJn, rendered prophetavit ; from whence 
the noun is derived, Heb. and Chald. h^J, Syr. }.^ y Arab. 

and Ethiop. ^ _^, propheia, 

2*^ The name na Nebo, or as it is more properly written 
Nab6, assumes the epenthetical van in its second syllable; as 
appears from a collation of its orthography in the oriental lan- 
guages and the western translations, vid. supr. p. 85. n ^^. 
The verb «aj or oj from which it is confessedly derived, and 



^ If guided by this clue, and following up our first 
principle, that the original of the gods of the Mo- 
abites must be sought in the paternal history of 
that people ; we now open the yolume in which 
alone their history is contained, it presents us but 
with one person to whom the preceding epithet is 
strictly applicable. And in the account of this 
personage, the Moabites were so far interested, as 
it occurs in a prophecy ascribed to one who was 
a near relation of their progenitor Moab. The pa- 
triarch Jacob, finding his qnd draw near, " gather- 
ed his sons together, to tell them what should be- 
fall them in the latter days."*^ In the prophecy 
which he delivered, a prediction is included, in 
which not only the people of Moab were concern- 
ed, but " all the nations of the earth " were inter- 
ested : the patriarch declares — 

" The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, 
Nor a ruler^'^^from between his legs. 
Until Shiloh^^^ [the Pacificator] be come ; 

-which differ only in the common and accidental change of verbs 
in Lamed-aleph, naturally assumes the epenthetical ^, in the 
past participle, of which it is the characteristic. From Paul 
Mill, prophesied, has been formed ni, Na^aD, Nabo ; by reject- 
ing the variable termination, after the analogy of \mv$ '^a-av^ 
Esau, from the past participle, >vov> of the verb r\mv* Thus 
Pasor derives the latter name ; Etyma. Nom. Nov." Test, sub 
voc. '^ Ucav, Esau, nomen viri. .origine Hebraeum W]^. • . .V»V 
vero dicitur q. A, f actus, perfectus. . a radice nm9, perfecii," . 

*** Gen. xlix. 1. comp. p. 62. n.***. supr. 

«^ Gen. ib. 10. vh^^ pao ppno, thus the passage is rendered 

in the Samaritan, "^nr^*^^ i/iraitt '^liitt'? ; ' a ruler from his 
standards;' but in the Greek, t^ ^y^/xevo? !» tu» ^m^v avre, * and 
a ruler from his thighs ;* in the Latin, ' et dux de femore ejus, a 
ruler from his thigh ;' and in the Spanish, ' y de su muslo el cau- 
dillo,' with the same sense : conf. infr. p. 113. n.^^. 

ssa ri^tQ^ ^^* *3 -|j^ ; the original term is retained in the English, 
* until ShUo be come ;' and in the French, < jusqu' k ce que le 
Sciio vienne f but paraphrastically explained in the Greek, t»^ 


And to him [sball be] the expectation^^^ of the nations. 

ia,9 »>^ ra avoxtifjLtva airZ^ ' until vhat is reserved for him shall 

come;' which is followed by Symmacbus, by tbe Syriac, l^^ 


woi oiX*t) -^ 1^!* *°<^ Arabic, aJ ^A C--^^' tr?: (j,>' ti'* 
This sense has obviously arisen from resolVing the name nV^tr^* 
into V — b — Min, ic4a< (is) to Atm : which however suitable to the 
idiom of the modern cBalects, but ill accoids with the genius of 
tbe Hebrew. It is accordingly rejected from all the modern 
versions but the Italian, * coluial quale quelle appartieue,^ vid. 
infr p. 111. n. «*o. 

^^ D^njf nnp» ^h^, three senses are ascribed to Ihis passage, 
aocording to the difietent origin which is assigned to the term 
nnp*. Those who trace this term, to the root mp, to expect, 
render it, * and to him shall be the expectation of the nations ;' 
SQch is the force which it is assigned in the Syriac, ^nm.i ci^o 
|viviv ^ * and him shall the nations expect f in the Greek, x^' alroq 
vfoirimiia eS»»v, * and he shall be the desire of the Gentiles ;' the 
Latin, ' et ipse erit erpectatio gentium,' and he shall be the ex- 
pectation of the nations:* and the Spanish, ^*y k\ ser^ la ex'pec- 
iacion de las gentes.* Those who take the same root in the 
flense, to collect^ render it ctmgregatum, gathering together: such 
is the force which it is ascribed by Aquila, x^ avro^ <r:^r«}i^ca >»&;», 
' and to him shall be the anemhly of the people ;' in the Samari- 
tan, iMW^aV t^-^^ylt^Anr r^nrZ'=?, and toliim the nations shall 

he ctmgregotedf in the Arabi(;, ««^yUsJt ^f^ ^^3'> ^i^^ ^« 
flame flense : In the English, ' unto him shall the gathering of 
. the people be ;* and in the French, * et c'est ^ lui qu'appartient 
FasseuMee des peuples/ Those who seek its origin m the Ara- 
bic aSj to heat 9 obey 9 ffive it the force of obedience ; such is the 
aease assigned to it in die Chaldee, H*DDir Tirontt^* mVi, ' and to 
bin. the nations sAo// be obedient:^ and the Italic, ' ed inverso lui 
sarik r MfedienoM de' popoli.' But as the root np^ is not com- 
mon to the other dialects of the Semitic ; and as they express, in 
common, the sense which it conveys by the verb Vi^xD, which is 
adopted by the Chaldee translator in rendering the passage 
before us ; it cannot be safely taken to explain the disputed 
term. Of the different ^uses ascribed to tfa^ ^oot mp, firolii 
which it must be of conse((Uence derived \ aii thaHr which nlkearo 
expectation is the natiiral force, and c6mm6ib 16 ilm Syriac, 
%mCIo: and as that which itaeatid cdngregdtklik'^ but A %urative 
signification, adopted from the meetitig of waters, -Ati^ b^nft^ed 
to the conjugation Niphal ; aiid as the Syriac, Ore^k and Lnlift 
translators derive the disputed term from the root in Ihfe former 


Hermes has been already mentioned, as the my- 
thological personage with whom Nebo was identi- 
fied ;** and in his fabulous history we clearly disr 
cover all the circumstances of this prophecy uni- 
ted. The figures, in which the prophet describes 
t^e progenitor of the expected personage, are 
transferred, as emblems, to his fabulous descendT 
ant ; the grossest sense being ascribed to the pro-^ 
phecy of which it was susceptible.^ The term 
n?nt^, Shiloh^ when traced to different roots, is sus- 
ceptible of the different signification of messenger 
and pacificator f^ we find both characters accor- 

flense ; I have little hesitation in concluding, that in.diis aense, 
it affords the true interpretation of the term, nnp\ 

238 Vid. supr. p. 90. n. *^. It is further deserving of re-» 
nmrk, that the proper name of Hermes, or Mercury, in Syriac, 
is Nebo. Castef. Lex. sub voc. p. 532. ** o^^, 2. Nomen Idoli. 
..3. Mercurius: hinc i^ fj^oxxs^ q. d. Hermes locutus est. 

Abulpharag. Hist. Dyn. 73. q<:u; |Z5o .* imago Mercurii. • Bar 
Bahlul. Conf. Ferar. Nomencl. 8yr^ dol. 370. 

W Vid. supr. p. 90. n. ^sw^. conf. p. 89. n. 89. Petavius ob^ 
nerves on the text before us : Rat. Tem. P. III. Lib. III. xvi,. 
p* 207. *' Paululum obscura sunt ilia : < et dux de femore ejus/ 
vel, ut Hebraice concipiuntur, * et legislator de inter pedes ejus/ 
quibus honeste putant adumbrari r» ytft^txa /A^^ia." He addf, 
however, the true interpretation, Ibid. p. 208. 
**** The word rih^m (written with n), is naturally derived from 

Heb. nbm, Chald. nhm, Syr. )L», Arab. 3Lw, tranquiUus eni : 
from whence we have the Syriac, j^^V^ . the Chaldee, Kn^tt^ jpa- 
cificus: and according to this derivation, the passes before us is 

rendered in the Samaritan, ^Z*** tttAntm /fZ^ *^V, * untiUAe 
pacific (one) shall come/, But when written with n, as it seems 
to have been read by St. Jerome, it is naturally derived from 

Heb. and Chald. nbm, Syr. 4aaXa» Arab. jAwm misiL From' 
hence we have the Syriac, |^^^\^ . Chaldee n^^tt^, numtiuSf 
iegaius : and according to this derivation, the passage is render- 
ed in the Latin Vulgate, ' donee veniat qui mittendm est, until 
he who is to be sent shall come.' As there is a class of verbs in 
Lamed-aleph having the last radical guttural ; vid. Michael. 
Gram. Syr. § 1. p. 113. § Ivi. p. 134. it b possible that those. 


idingly united in tfce mythological perMaaffe^^^* 
who wa» imagined after the divine model Goncoii^ 
ed by the prophet. And howet^r itiobvious aJad 
tthnatural the conneiEicm of eitber cfastraoter. tmf 
be deemed with that of thief and despoiier ; th€^ 
qualities were equally ascribed to the fabulous 
character,^*^ and may be naturally and obviously 
deduced from the root to which the prophetical 
hame may be referred, particularly in the Syriac.*** 

verljM may have been originaUy the same. The gradations ia 
their signification may be traced by the foUowing analogy ; that 
a person who u quiets is one who is disposed to send rather 
than to go ; and that to send for is equivalent to take away. If 
this analogy may be admitted, the original verb must have been 
vhm^ from whence comes rh^if ; and its primary senile tranquiUM 
fnit, from whence misit^ detraxit, spoliamt. vid. infr. r.^^'. 

^ Natal. Comit. Mythol. Lib. V. cap. v. p. 451. '« Hunc 
[Mercurtum] Deerum nuntium patarunt, &c. Id. lb. p. 441* 
*-' Jbvis mandata per diem cireumferebai, et hue iUuc euriUabat^ * 
ita ut nollo tempore posset quiescere : quidam iBJunxemat ilii 
etiam bellicas cadueeatorum kgaiioneSf eumfoederum ei induda' 
rum inventorem fuisge inquiant." Id. ibid. p. 444.. •'* ApoHo 
postea virgrnn • . Mercurio donavit, iWum nim haheniem, ut facile 
pax inter qmsvUy ea virga interpoiitaf emeiUaretwr, Ejus cum 
vrilet facere expenmentum Mercurius, inter 4uq9 aniguet acerriBae 
intercedimicaiites conjecit, qui repente fki^ik sunt amici» unde vir- 
ga Mercurii fuit postea genlinis anfutbua circumvolutis inaignita." 
' ^^ Lactaat. Div. lustit. Lib. I. cap. x. '* Fur ao nobmh 
flercurius, quid ad famam sui reliquit» nisi memoriamfraudum 
iuarum.^' Nat. Com. ut supr. p. 447. *' Huic, [Mercurio] statuae 
pro foribus domorum ab antiquis erigebantur, quia fur creddM- 
ur cceteros fures arcere, ut ait Aristophanes.*' 

*^ The verb, n^», misk, in addition to the sense which it 
possesses in Hebrew, in common with the o^er dialects ; la as- 
signed the annexed signification , peculiar to the foliowiiig dialects 
by Jtottingier, Lex. Harm. p. 510. '< Chald. rhm : S jn [.^ti\r] ' 

Sam. i^m, [V2,»»] ; exuit, spoliamt. Arab. -^D, [J^] id/' 
Buxtorf, speaking of the Chaldee, observes of the latter mnse. 
Lex. Chald. col. 2411. " Heec significatio ex prtore [misit] 
nata est, nam extractio vestimenti est ejus a corpore dimissio. * 
But in Castel's Lexicon the >S^'«c verb is, on the conti»ry, 
explained; Lex. Syr. p. 914. - ^^ V ^ j (1) detrnxift,spofiamt..* 


Nor is. it less deserving of remark, that ppTTD, the 
acQompanying term of the prophecy, which I have 
rendered ** ruler," signifies scribe and legislator ;^^ 
and that, in these characters, the description is 
cgmpleted,^*^ which antiquity has transmitted of 
the fictitious personage, whose origin it is my ob- 
ject to investigate. 

. From the preceding observations, I conceive, it 
may be safely concluded, that, of the two gods of / 
the Moabites, from whom the heights of Abarimi^ / 
obtained the names of Peor and Nebo, one derived"^ / 
his imaginary existence from a tradition, and the 
other from a prophecy, which was preserved a- 
mong that people. On the part of the Moabites, 
this conclusion may be easily admitted : the ties 

(2) misit, emisii :" and )L« is explained in nearly the same terms. 
*** The gradations of sense, in the root from which the He- 
brew term is derived, are accurately traced by Mercer, in Pag- 
nin. Thesaur. col. 783. " ppn, Insculpere, vel scalpere. .inde et 
pro cfe*cri6ere S(BU perscrihere. ,decemere et statvere sumitur." 
And it' is assigned the same significations in the Chaldee : vid. 
Buxt. Lex. col. '817. From each of these senses its derivative 
ppno acquires its various signiiications of scriba, Ps. eviii. 9. 
vid.'Pagnin. Lex. c. 783. legislator. Is. xxxiii. 22. Num. xxi. 
18. Ibid, dux, princeps, Jud. v. 14. Prov. viii. 15. Ibid. In 
the first sense the passage before us is rendered in the Chaldee, 
♦mja 'JID ^Ssbl, • or a scribe from his sons* sons ;' and apparent- 
ly in the 8yriac, woioi^ Zuo -^ {im ^^.vr o. * and an exposit- 
or from between his legs.' In the second sense it is rendered 

• * • ■ 

in the Arabic, »>^? cIcsS. ^ a^II^^ * and a laicgiver from 
tinder his rule;' in. the Italian, ' ne 7 leggislatore d'infra i piedi 
d'essp ;' in the, * ni legislateur d*entre ses pieds ;' and in 
.the Bnglish, ' nor a lawgiuer from between his feet.' The last 
and highest sense of ruler, I have already shewn, is adopted in 
the remaining versions; vid. supr. p. 109. n.^^^. 

*** Lactant. Div. Instit. Lib. I. cap. vi. A pud Ciceronero, C. 
Cottapontifex disputans contra Sto'icos de religionibus..quiii- 
()ue fuisse JKfercKrios ait; et enunleratis per ordinem quatuor, 
quintum^Xgyptiim profugisse, atque JEgyptiis leges ac 
teffera^ tradidisse." Conf. Cicer. de Nat. Deor. Lib. III. cap. 
Ivi. 8anchon. ap. Euseb. Praip. Ev, Lib. I. cap. ix. p. 36. 40. 


6( consanguinity by which that people were con- 
nected with the Hebrews, at the period when this 
prophecy was delivered, must have led to a per- 
fect intercommunity of opinions and customs. I- 
saac and Lot were cousins, and in the next degree 
to them stood Jacob and Moab- As their imme- 
diate posterity were neither numerous, nor wide- 
ly dispersed ; whatever occurred in one branch of 
a race so connected, must have passed, by direct 
communication, to the other. They consequently 
who admit the transmission of a prophecy, or tra- 
dition, among the posterity of Jacob, cannot con- 
sistently dispute its preservation, among the des- 
cendants of Moab. 

It may be, however, believed, that the difficulty 
on the part of the Assyrians will not admit of so 
easy a solution. But a short inquiry will en- 
able us to perceive, that whatever difference is con- 
ceived to exist between the two cases is really 
groundless and imaginary. The objection must 
proceed upon the supposition, that the Hebrews 
formed a distinct race from the Assyrians, when 
Jacob delivered his prophecy on the coming of 
Shiloh. But such a supposition, as grounded on 
preconceived and erroneous notions, scarcely de- 
serves a refutation. Until long subsequently to 
that time, the line of separation had not been 
drawn, by the institution of a religious polity 
among the Jews, which rendered that people ob- 
noxious to the Gentiles ;^*^ and so remote is it 
from fact, that the Hebrews and Assyrians were a 
distinct race, that they were equally native Meso- 

^^ As a circnmstance, not yet occurriiig, but future, it was 
foretold of the Jews, by Balaam, in the last year of the £xod, 
that *' the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be numbered 
with the nations." Num xxiii. 9. 

w Vid. infr. n.«« : comp. Acts. vii. 2. 3. 



AbrahsuB, the founder of the race, declared that 
his native land was Mesopotamia.^*^ To that pro- 
vince of Assyria, he sent ^^" unto his country and 
to his kindred, to take a wife unto Isaac :". /'and 
Isaac, when he was forty years old, took the daugh- 
ter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-aram, and sister 
to Laban the Syrian.''^ Retaining the hereditary 
attachment of his forefathers, ^^" Isaac sent away 
Jacob, and he went to Padan-aram unto Laban, 

**8 From a collation of Gen. xxiv. 4. 10. it appears that the 
native country of Abraham was onnJ D")^, * Mesopotamiaa 
Syria/ Gen. xxiv. 10. for those terms are assigned, by the trans- 
lators, the same force, as in determining the country of Balaam : 
▼id. supr. p. 36. n. ^, In addition to what has been there 
observed, it is necessary only to add, that the Syriac version in 
employing ^;au >oij> ' Syria of the rivers;* and the Samaritan, 

^nr^^!^ ^^A^ with the same sense ; conspire with the Chal- 
dee, Greek and Latin. In this sentence the modern versions 
may be included, as the Spanish, the Italian and English adopt 

* Mesopotamia,' the French, ' Mesopotamie,' and the German, 

* Mesopotamien.' 

<^ Gen. xxiv. 4. It seems to have been collected from a 
collation of this text, with Gen. ib. 10. lately cited, that Dn» pa, 
Padan-aram; is synonymous with onnJ D^it^, Aram Naha- 
TiUm, or Mesopotamia; so those terms are rendered in the 
Greek, Mio-oiroluiAa ; the Latin, ' Mesopotamia;' with which the 
Spanish and German agree. The original terms are however 
retained in the Chaldee, Syriac, Samaritan, and Arabic, with 
which the Italian, French and English coincide. From a col- 
lation of the same texts, I am inclined rather to conclude, that 
D-w t'^By* Padan of Syria' was onni Dn«. .("nni) Tr, * the city 
(of Nahor,) of Mesopotamian Syria,' Ib. xxiv. 10. In Syriac, 
.i^* and in Chaldee, \ib signifies a pair or yoke ; which would 

not have been an unsuitable name to a city con^posed of sepa- 
rate collections of houses, connected by a street, bridge, or 

«*> Gen. xxviii. 5. the terms >»'i«n Vtfrtn3..*D*iKn fi^, are 
rendered, here and Gen. xxv. 20. in the Greek, Bat^anTi r» Xv^tt 

* •A«0»v r» Tvpv, and in the Latin, ' Bathuelis ^j^rt.. Laban 
Syri, yrlih. which the versions, ancient and modern, coincide. 

^^ Gen, xxv. 5. 

Q 2 

^^- ;n 



the son of Bethuel the Syrian'' Such are the terms 
in which the first founders of this people are gene- 
rally recognised in their national history. Even 
by the ordinances of their religious code, it was re- 
quired of every Israelite, in otfering his first fruits,. 
that he should make a like avowal of his original. 
The form prescribed for him to use, on this occa- 
sion, was expressed in the following terms; ^'^'^ a 
Syrian ready to perish was my father y and he went 

252 Deut. xxvi. 5. "^x\ nonyo Ti»l ♦!« nifc^ »»ii< : It must be 
however acknowladged, that the suffrage of the versions, in which' 
13^ is rendered as a verb, is opposed to the signification ascrib- 
ed to this passage in the English translation. It is accordingly 
rendered in the Greek, tv^iav avi^ocMv o Treclr^ fjm, jcJ xars^^ ih 
"Alyvvlof, * my father rejected Syria, and descended into Egypt;* 
but some of the Hexaplar translators displeased with this sense 
substituted, Sv^Uv an-fiXtn-sv, * left Syria,* which is contrary to 
fact. The Latin, rendering in» in the Indefinite Kal, has * Syius 
persequebatur patrem meum,' persecuted my father \\ this signifi- 
cation, however, required some qualification ; the Chaldee accor^ 
dingly supplies it, «n« n» «nai«^ «ra ri«Dn« \lhy * Lahan the 
Syrian sought to destroy my father ;' which is equally opposed 
to fact, with the Greek version ; yet it is servilely adopted in the 

Arabic, (J-1 *Xaaj Jo c^j^^ uW^ (j^ ,^ tni\y Laban the Syri- 
an woulrfhave destroyed my father.* j^he Samaritan possesses 

every ambiguity which may be imputed to the original, nTiii'\A' 

(tt^A *^9A, ' a Syrian perishing (was) my father/ or ' perse- 
cuted my father ;' and the Syriac^ ^t \o\ ^^^o «aOJ \^iL\ JcjJI 

* my father was led into Syria, and^ descended into Egypt ;* 
where to preserve the natural order of the phrase, the sense of 
the verb is altered. Of the modern versions, the Spanish, as u- 
sual, conforms to the Latin, ^el Siro perseguia a mi padre ;' with 
which the German nearly conspires, ' die Syrer wollten meinen 
Vater umhringen, the Syrians would kill my father.' The Ital- 
ian indeed renders the phrase, ' il padre mio (era) un mi^ero 
Siro ;' and the French, * mon p^re etoit tm pauvre Syrien ;' both 
of which correspond with the English. And it would be evi- 
dent, that in these versions, the proper sense of the passage was 
conveyed, as they follow the natural order of this text, which, if 
nn« were taken as a verb, would require the phrase to be invert- 
ed ; were it not obvious, from the vague and loose manner, in 


down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, 
and became there a nation great, mighty and pop- 
ulous." In a word, the national appellation of 
Hebrew, which began to supersede the paternal 
name of Syrian, as early as the times of Abra- 
ham,^^' is an implicit admission of the foreign ex- 
traction of this people ; nor did the patriarchal 
founders of their race express themselves in very 
different language, but confessed that they were 
mere " strangers and settlers,"^^in Canaan. What- 
ever, therefore, might have been the national or he- 
reditary antipathies of the Assyrians, or their re- 
pugnance to adopt any rite or prophecy from the 
Jews; it is obvious, that, in the age of the patriarchs, 
no greater prejudice could have operated against 
the reception of the prediction of Jacob, than of Ba- 
laam, by that people. Nor can any objection be fra- 

which it is rendered in the preceding vers'ons, with the palpable 
view of disposing of the difficulty of applying the name of Sy- 
ridn to the Hebrews. In the former sense, it is accordingly 
pointed by the Masorets, who employ 12!tk Benoni, not"12lK 

indef. Piel. 

««* Gen. xiv. 13. >'^1VT^ D*il«^, in the translation of these 
words, which are rendered in the English version, ** to Abiam 
the Hebrew C^ Wie Greek and German, depart from the other 
versions ; the one rendering them, 'A^^a^fx rZ ^nrs^oiTv^ * to Abram 
the emigrant :' which is followed by Aquila ; and the other, • A- 
bram dem Amldnder, * Abram the foreigner:'' to which may be 
probably added, the Chaldee n«nnr Dni«^, and the Syiiac, 
jf;,*^\ >o;.o}]« with the same sense as the Greek. The different 
authorities, on the derivation of the word mi?, Hebrew, are di- 
tedby Walton. Prolegom. Bibl. Polygl. 111. § 1. p. 15. who 
gives his suffrage in favor of those who considered it a common 
name, with the sense of transitor, transjluvialis ; and not a patro- 
nymic, derived from Heber, 

^^ Gen. xxiii. 5. dddit »D^« 2m^n^ *1J, * T am a stranger and a 
settler with you ,' thus the passage is rended in the versions, an- 
tientand modern, without any important variation. The same 
language nearly is applied by Isaac to Jacob ; lb. xxviii. 4. 
comp. Heb. xi. 13. 



med to meet the one case, that will not apply a- 
gainst the other ; and equally decide against the 
reception, among the Jews themselves, of a pro- 
phecy of Isaiah or Danieh 

The possibility being admitted, that a prophecy 
of Jacob might have made its way among his com- 
patriots, the Assyrians ; it may be atonce raised to 
a moral certainty, without adducing further proof 
but that which presents itself in the document be- 
fore us. Balaam, it has been observed, was of 
that nation :^ his prophecy, however, bears inter- 
nal evidence, that its author was well acquainted 
with Jacob's prediction. He not only introduces 
the patriarch expressly by name,*^ but he imi- 
tates his prophecy,^. in its scope, language and 
images. As Jacob professes to inform his sons,of 
what ^'* shall befall them in the last days ;" Ba- 
laam undertakes ^^" to advertise Balak what this 
people should do to his people, in the latter days'' 
As the one declares that*®* ^^the sceptre should not 
depart from Judah ;" the other declares, that^* " a 
sceptre should rise out of Israel." In the predic- 
tion of each of them, Judah is not only Compa- 
red to a lion ; but their respective descriptions ex- 
hibit a circumstantial coincidence, in the imagery 
and diction, which places the imitation of the pro- 

«« Vid. supr. p. 36. ^ Vid. infir. p. 119. 

**7 The similarity between Jacob and Balaam's prophecy is 
80 obvious, that it has not escaped observation. Eusebius af- 
ter tracing the resemblance, between them, closes the compari- 
iion, with the following observation : Dem. Evan. Lib. IX. cap. 

111. p. 425. <jl. veiAec ^* tfy ra sU Tn^ tS laxuff TTpoppnp-iv rt^tupvifjcina 

* every thing which has been observed of Jacob's prediction would 
agree with thsit of Balaam, on account of the similarity of their 

^ Gen. xlix. 1. ^ Num. xxiv. 14. 

««o Gen. ibid. 10. ««i Num. ibid. 17. 


phet beyond controversion. In the patriarch's 
description,^* " Judah is a lion's whelp. . .he stoop- 
ed down, he couched as a lion and as an old lion, 
who shall rouse him up ;" in the prophet's,^^ '* he 
couched, he lay down, as a lion, and as a great li- 
on, who shall rouse him up ?" In fine, the bold fi- 
gure, in which Balaam opens his prediction, does 
not merely intimate, that he was acquainted with 
the prediction of Jacob ; but presupposes, that his 
auditors were familiar with the subject. In men- 
tioning Jacob's^name, and particularising " the 
latter days," and " the sceptre of Judah ;" the pro- 
phecy of the patriarch was brought as unequivo- 
cally before his hearers, as if it had been expressly 
quoted. Nor could it admit of any doubt, who the 
Personage was to whom the prophet alluded, m 

J shall. see Him, but not now, 
I shall behold him, but not near: 
A star shall proceed out of Jacoby 
A sceptre shall rise out of Israel. 

That it could be Him only, of whom Jacob kim^ 
self had declared. 

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, 
Nor a ruler from between his feet, 
UntU the Pacificator shall come. 

Nor let me be told, that this knowledge was con- 
fined to the seer of Mesopotamia ; and merely deli- 
vered in the prophetic spirit by which he was mo- 
ved, in predicting the great revolutions which 

26« Gen. ibid. 9. 

^^ Num. ibid. 9. It may be further observed, that the 
words which directly follow, ' Blessed is he that blesseth thee, 
and cursed is he that cursetii thee " are literally adopted from 
the henedictum of Jacob, pronounced upon him, by his father 
Isaac; Gen. xxvi. 29. 


should precede the advent of the expected Person- 
age. The popular superstitions of Balaam's age, 
bear internal evidence of their traditional descent, 
by which the fabulous accounts of the person, 
conceived after the description of those prophe- 
cies, may be identified with the history of Jacob. 
The terminal monuments erected to Mercury or 
Nebo, the names by which they were known to 
the ethnics, the rites by which that divinity was 
reverenced, bear a clear and consistent testimony 
to their original. 

Nebo, or his substitute Mercury, was represent- 
ed by a plain pillar, consecrated by an unction 
and sacrifice;*" he was worshipped by erecting a 
sacred mound of stones, in his honor ;^ and the 
common appellation, by which these monuments 
were known, was Bethulia.*^ Beyond the follow- 
ing brief extracts from the patriarchal history, I 
cannot think, it will be necessary to look for the o- 
rigin of the Assyrian superstition. After descri- 
bing the vision seen by the patriarch at Luz, the sa- 
cred historian proceeds ;^ ** And Jacob rose up 

^* Vid. supr. p. 96. The ceremony of erecting and dedica- 
ting these monuments is described, in the following terms, by 
Siculus Flaccus; << Cum Tertninos disponerent, ipsos quidero 
lapides in solidam terram collocabant, proxime ea loca, quibus 
fossis factis defixuri eos erant, et unguento velaminibusque, et 
coronis eos coronabant. In fossis autem quibus posituri eos e- 
rant, sacrificio facto, hostiaque immaculata ctesa, facibus ardenti- 
bus, in fossa cooperti sanguine instillabant eoque fruges et thura 
jactabant; favos quoque et vinum, aliaque quibus consuetudo 
erat TerminU sacrum fieri in fossa adjiciebant, consumtisque 
omnibus dapibus igne, super calentes reliquias lapides colloca- 
bant atque ita diligenti cura confirmabant :'* conf. supr. p. 78. 

^ Vid. supr. p. 91. n. W. p. 95. n. ^^. &c. 

*^ Vid. Sanchoniath. ap. Euseb. Praep. Ev. Lib. T. cap. ix. 
p. 37. d. Damas. in Isidor. vit. ap. Phot. Cod. cclxii. Scailig; 
Animadv. in Euseb. n. mmcl. 

^ Gen. xxviii. 18. 19. 


early in the morning, and took the stone that he 
had .put for his pillow, and. set it up for a pillar, 
and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the 
name of that place Bethel''^ " And on a subse- 
quent occasion it is recorded ; that ^" Jacob took a 
stone and set it up for a pillar. And Jacob said un- 
to his brethren gather stones ; and they took stones, 
and made a heap, and they did eat there upon the 
heap," The ceremony is then represented as 
closing with the most solemn religious rite ;*'**" then 
Jacob offered sacrifice in the mount, and called 
his brethren to eat bread : and they did eat bresid, 
and tarried all night in the mount.' 

Though it may be deemed superfluous to offer 
further proof of the origin of the title Nebo, or of 
the rites by which that deity was honored ; one or 

<^ Tlie learned inq^uirer into the remains of the Assyrian re- 
ligion held the following opinion, which is also imputed to the 
great Scaliger ; Seld. de Dls Syr. Synt. I. cap. v. «' Bethel'w- 
tern quod domm dei sonat, Ba>&^x Graecis interpretibus dicitur, 
et locus erat uld iapidem unxit Jacob, ut legitur Gen. xxTiii. 
com. 18. a quo nomine et ritUt Balrt/Xo* ei BatrvKi» apudprofands 
Mcriptores manarunt.'* The following testimony, on this subject. 
Is so full and apposite, that it merits transcription : Cuper. not. 
in Lact. de Mort. Persec. cap. x. '* Lapides igitur, vel $axa a 
Geotibus honore divino cuitos, id est unctos, coronatos, et ado- 
ratos fuisse, ex Arnobii Lib. 11, constat. ' Picturatas veter- 
nosis in arboribus taenias si quando conspexeram, kubrieatum 
iapidem, et ex olwi nnguine aordidatum, tanquam inesset yia 
preesens, adulabar, affabar, et beneficia poscebain nihil sentiente^ 
de.trunco ;* ubi rideri possunt interpretes. Lucianus in P«bu;« 
domante notat Rutilianum, si quando xi^ov aXyiXifA.tAho» % iri^ar- 
ufA^op xonspexisset, continuo in genua cecidisse, adorasse, et 
prospera ab ill© postulasse Et jputo, vere notafe entditione 
prsestantes viros, superstitiosos homines imitatos esse Jacobum Ia- 
pidem uiigucntoperfundentem in Bethel, Gen. xxviii. qui tamen, 
teste Auffustino, more idplolatriae Iapidem non perfudit oleo, 
velut faciens ilium Deum, neque adoravit ilium Iapidem, nequc^ 
illi sacrificaTit." 

«fi» Gen. xxxi. 46, 48., ^^ Gen. ibid. 64. 




two considerations seem so cleBtly to establish 
the connexion eitisting between his character and 
the prophfecy of Jacob, as well as between the pil- 
lars consecrated to his worship, and the anointed 
stone raised by the patriarch as the memorial of 
his vision, that they merit specific notice. 

If the coincidence be deemed accidental, it 
must be admitted to be extraordinary, which sub- 
sists between the name ascribed by the Assyrians 
to this deity, and that assigned, by the most leam^^ 
ed expositor of prophecy among the ancients, ta 
the Divine Personage to whom Jacob alludes in 
his prediction. Eusebius, however, conspires with 
the Assyrians, not merely in rejecting the term 
Shiloh, and every title into which that term can 
. be explained ; but in adopting a name, which is sy- 
nonymous with Nebo; as literally signifying "the 
prophesied," or " the foretold."^^ Nor is it wholly 
undeserving of remark, that in forming the title of 
their deity, the Assyrians should have followed the 
analogy, which is observed in the name of the bro-^ 
ther of the prophet : Nabau being a term perfect- 
ly similar in its construction to Esau.^ If the 
prophecy of the patriarch be ccmsidered the source 
tirom whence they mutually drew ; it directly ac- 
counts for similarities,*^' which, on any other sup- 
position, seem wholly inexplicable. 

m Eneeb. Dem. Evan. Lib. III. cap. i. p. 370. " But "wbat 
18 also said after this, ' A prince shall not fail from Judah, not 
a ruler from between his feet, until he for whom it is reserved 
shall come, and to him shall be the expectation of the nations,' 
seems to me to allude to the times of the appearance of tkt 

va^aMTMK). Conf. supr. p. 108. n. *^. 

«7« Vid. supr. p. 85. n. ^^. conf. p. 108, n, ««. 

*7s Of the Babylonian monarchs, wbo'adopted titles from the 
national j;ods, Syncellus, who derived his information from tb« 
original works of Berosus, declares of tte prince wbawas piiii«> 

OF A 6RJ£AT P^tlVER^R. l^ 

Anatber circumstance is ^ot lesa deserving of 
remsffk^ s^s illustrating the source from whence the 
pagan custom of anointing and dedicating pillars 
originated. In the prohibition given in the Mosaic 
Law, against the erection of groves and pillars in, 
the vicinity of an altar dedicated to the Lord ;*** 
the term under which the latter are proscribed^* is 
identical with that applied by Jacob to the monu- 
ment, which was erected at Bethel ; where the pa- 
triarch by the divine appointment subsequently 
raised an altar .^® As Goa himself mentioned this. 

cipally instrumental in overthrowing the kingdom of Israel, 
Chronogr. p. 208. c. Noc/Soya^opo;, 6 tCf 'ZaXfMtitaa'eta h rn ycafn 
Xf>ro/EAf»o<« If the preceding deancttons he admitted, they arord 
i| solution of the difficulty which has been found, in indentify- 
ipg the same prince under such different titles : Salmanaser havr 
ing the, same reference to the prophetical name of the Assy- 
rian god, which Nabonassar bears to the mythological. It this 
solution be objected to as strained, it should be remembered, in 
its defence, that by the signification of the term Nabo we are 
directed to fn'opk&cy for explanation ; and that Salmanaser iis 
confessedly compounded with a word which signifies pac\flc. 
On the signification of this name, Des-VignoUes has observed; 
Chronol. Tom. II. p. 300. '' Les etymologistes pourront remar- 
quer, sur ce sujet, que les trois premieres lettres du nom de 
*)DHJdVv» ^Imaiuuar^ que les Juifs appellent radicales sont les 
m^mes, que celled de SaiomoUf k qui ce nom fut donn^, parce 
qu^il devoit ^tre un homme pauible" 

«T4 Deut. xvi. 21. 22. 

^^ Deut. ib. 22. niVD i? o^pn W?^, * and thou shalt not raise; 
m pillar:" Gen, xxviii. 17. nn« Dtt^n...pHn n« (apy») np'i 
naYO,' and (Jacob) took the stone, and set it for a pillar,* The 
term niitPf which the LXX properly render, in both places^ 
rnx^, has obviously a reference to a remarkable circumstance 
in the patriarch's vision, which is expressed by the veib ytU 
from whence the original r\itii is derived ; Gen. ibid. 12, 13. 
r^i^ lYj mmmm...ny')M iyDoVDnjm...'aad, behold a lad- 
der 9toad upon the earth.. • and, behold, Jehovah stood above it.' 
From whence it would appear, that the name of those monu- 
mentp originated with Jacob, and was applied by him, in conr 
pequence of hip vision at Bethel. 

^^ Gen. XXXV. 1. 

R 2 



monument with commendation, in terming himself 
the God of Bethel f" it seems not easy to account 
for the change which occurred, between the vision 
of Jacob and the legation of Moses, on any grounds, 
but that those monuments, in the intermediate pe- 
riod, were perverted to idolatrous purposes. This 
supposition will receive direct confirmation, from 
the remains of the history of the Phenicians, in pro- 
secuting our inquiries into the superstitions of that 
* people ; and the plainest allusions will be traced 
between the mysteries of Mithras and the vision of 
Jacob, in pursuing the same subject,^ with refe- 
rence to the Persians. 

From the various circumstances brought to 
light in the preceding induction, we seem justified 
in deducing some important conclusions. Of the 
gods who were common to the Moabites and Assy- 
rians, the principal^ were Bel and Nebo; in whose 

«T7 lb. xxxi. 13. 

^78 Bel and Nabo are specified as the principal gods of Ba- 
bylon by Isaiah, xlvi. 1. The term Lctyu9 which occurs in the 
Greek version of the prophet is obviously acon^uption of lUei&m ; 
we consequently find the latter reading not only confirmed by 
the common consent of the versions, but by Aquila, Who read 
Na/?w, and Symmachus, who read, Ni|38f : vid. Montf. Hexapl. 
in loc. The honor in which those deities were held may be col- 
lected from the names of their monarchs, which were chiefly 
composed of the titles of their godsr On this subject it is ob- 
served by Beyer, Addit. in Seldl de Dts Syr. p. 319. '< All 
the names of the Assyrians and Chaldees, are composed of 
simple names, which are almost all the names of the Babyhni" 
an gods, as Bel, Nebo, Mere... They are therefore either 
composed of two terms ; as, ny^J n^, Nabo-iuumr^ a Chaldee 
title composed of the simple names Nabo and Netzar, and 
iDYt^^ 11J, Nabulassar, in Josephus; the same name, which 
composed of three, is termed Nabo-pul-ietzar, NaCon-oXXao-o^of , 
in Ptolemy and Eusebius. Or they are composed of three, 
as Nobopollasar, which has been just mentioned, and no UJ 
^YM^ Nebuchodonosor, V[et08xo^voe-o^oif*^}t\^'^ T311J, in Jeremiah, 


honor, festivals were held, to a late period; at the 
commencement of spring and'autumn.^^ To B^al 
they ascribed a prophecy which predicted the 
successive destruction of the wortd by fire and 
water ;^ and their notions of Nebo were founded on 
a prediction, which held out the expectation of iai 
great deliverance to the nations.*®^ In determining 
the period of those festivals of their gods, and in 
anticipating the great catastrophe of nature, their 
opinions acquired a peculiar cast from their astro- 
nomical knowledge, which was obviously of a lat- 
ter origin. In fixing the anniversaries of their reli- 
gion to the period of the sun's entrance into aHes 
and libra; and determining the time of the world's 
destruction by his entrance into cancer and Capri- 
corn ; they superinduced the refinements of compa- 
ratively modern science on their ancient traditions. 
Without embarrassing the subject with the diffi- 
culties of the question, when the zodiac was dis- 

}f»pnxi*iooa'o^q, in Magasthenes, and his follower Strabo, com- 
posed ot iiJ, Ti, *)y«J. But they are rarely composed of four, 
as, *TS js *\i *i^D, Merodachenpcult in Ptolemy MccphxifAma^of, 
from Mero, Dach, Chen, Pad. It appears likewise, that the 
letters in these names, are changed with one another ; Letzar, 
Retzar, Netzar ; so Nabu and Labu ; so that the one who is 
called Labunitus in Herodotus, becomes Nahunidus in Berosus. 
All these simple terms are the proper names of the gods.'*^ The 
permutation of letters, in the orthography of these names, has 
partly proceeded from the disposition of the ancients to pervert 
foreign titles into ludicrous or contemptuous senses ; and partly 
from the affectation or inadvertence of the Greeks, and their 
followers, by whom all exotic names were notoriously corrup- 
ted. The elementary terms used in the composition of those 
names were the terms ^jri, 11 J, Bely Nebo, and the titles in, 
piM, Chad, iidon, signifying only Lord, which were variously 
compounded with ^dk, signifying bound, and expressing the de- 
votion and subserviency of the proselyte, who adopted the title. 

W Vid. supr. p. 91. n. ^99. aw Vid. ibid. p. 84. p. ««. 

«8i Vid. ibid. p. 108. seq. 


tributed' into twelve portions ; it is on all sides a- 
greed, that libra was admitted into the number of 
&e signs, at a late period ; and that the position 
of the colures, which determine the seasons of the 
year, wa^ fixed in the cardinal signs, but 74& 
years before the vulgar Christian era.^ On sepa* 
rating the adscititious circumstances, which were 
thus incorporated on the traditionary prophecy 
of Baal or Belus, respecting the destruction of the 
world, and which were employed by his followers 
in fixing the time of the festivals at which he was 
worshipped ; we may be enabled to arive at a just 
estimate of the subject. 

Of the personages who were reverenced under 
the title Bel or Baal, two were acknowledged by 
the Babylonians. They seem to have recognised 
in the first, the common progenitor of mankind ; 
fi*om whom a second was descended, whom they 
considered the father of Ninus, the founder of their 
empire.^ The identity of the personage, from 

' ^^ The time when the position of the colures was fixed in 
Aries ^ Librae Can(^ and Capricorn is determined with great 
probabilityj from the testimony of Hipparcbus and the ancients, 
to have heen about th^ first year of the »ra of Nabonassar, 74d 

{ears before the Cbriatiap »ra. Vid. Petav. Uranoloff. Lib. 
I. p. 78. The period when the Israelites were initiated in the 
m^'steries of Baalt and when Balaam delivered his prophecy 
from Mount Neho^ ;^ccording to the common computations, was 
711 years previously. 

^^ Alexander Polyhistor, who had written ** on the Chaldee 
antiquities," quoting Eupolemus, observes ; ap. Euseb. Prasp, 
JBvang. Lib. IX. xvii. p. 419. c. Q^J^vXi^vtaf 74^ xiyuit v^ulw ynio" 
d«t BifAor, tv iTyai K^oirey* Ix r^rd ^i yifiVSai PfJXPy jc)i,' that the Ba- 

byloQianf say, thut Belus was first born who was Cronus; and 
fipm him Belus ^d Canaan were descended, but this Canaan 
was the father of tne Phenicians.' With this statement the re- 
mains of Phenicifm history agree in acknowledging two Crpn- 
uses : vU. Sanchop. ap. £u8#b. ib. I. ]j^. 37» d. Who the ^rst 
Belus 1^, has been already shewn; i^upr. p. 92 . n. ^^, Qn 
the second Belus, the following brief testimony may be quoted, 


V9hom tiiey sapposed the prophecy derived^ with 
the first Belivi> is not merely apparent in his re^ 
mote antiquity, which proves him to have been 
the same as our common parent It is rendered 
still more apparent by a tradition, derived from ^ 
higher and purer source, which positively ascribei; 
a prophecy on the same subject, to our great pro- 

Whai the tradition preserved by the Chaldees 
on the destruction of Uie earth, is divested of it9 
astronomical peculiarities, and taken in conjunc-* 
tion with that perpetuated among the Hebrews ; 
they form a conspiring testimony, to the existence 
of a {M^phecy, in the earliest part of the history of 
mankind, which foretold the destruction of the 
world by a deluge and conflagration. In determi- 
ning the period of the festivals, held in honor of 
their great national gods, at spring and autumn, a 
reference seems to have been likewise made to the 
primitive history of our species* With the circum- 
stances of the fall of man, which formed the most 
striking incident in that portion of the human an- 
nals, the vicissitude of the seasons had a necessary 
connexion. The curse of barrenness to which the 
earth then became periodically subject, at the close 
of the year, was the fatal consequence of the origi- 
nal transgression.^ And by such considerations, 
the festival, in which the remembrance of that e* 
vent was preserved, was naturally determined. 
To commemorate at a period of the year when na- 
ture languishes and decays, the change, which then 

Hier. in Oseam, cap. ii. Tom. V. p. 41. Prinnnni omni Asttt 
regoasse Ninum, Belifilium, omnes et Grseciie et Barbarte nar-> 
raot faistorige, qui apud Assyrios Ninum sui nominis condidit 

«♦ Vid. Joseph, uti supr. p. 30, n. f^. conf. p. 34. n. •«. 

M Geo. ill, 17, 18. 


took place, from perennial fertility to periodical 
barrenness, was obvious and natural. The dreary 
and sterile season was accordingly chosen for the 
festival instituted in honor of Ba^, who was con- 
fessedly the most ancient of the national deities. 
As these considerations derive illustration from the 
Saturnalia, which were fixed to the same period of 
the year, and which, firom the identity of Saturn and 
Baal,^ had a necessary connexion with the orien- 
tal festival ; they at once solve a difficulty in the in- 
stitution of those rites, of which antiquity has avow- 
ed itself unequal to the solution. For while it was 
acknowledged, that the freedom from restraint and 
unrestricted indulgence, which distinguished that 
festival, was commemorative of the equality and 
profuseness which prevailed in the first and goldr 
en age ;^ no adequate reason was found to explain 
why the period of celebrating the anniversary had 
been fixed in winter :*" of which difficulty, we have 
just seen, the history of the fall affords a simple 
and satisfactory solution, in the curse pronounced 
on the earth, which occasioned the inclemency of 
the seasons. 

«« Vid. supr. p. 92. n. «». 

^^ A native Assyrian, in describing the origin of the Satur- 
nalia, introduces Saturn, expressing himself in the following 
terms; Lucian. Satumal. Tom. II. p. 813. ed. Bened. *'l 
have deemed it fit, to choose these few days, to resume the go-' 
▼emment, thai I may remind mankind, what wa» the mode of 
iife under me, (<ir( vwofAviQatiAi rtfq apf^fumif oTo^ Jip i iw' tptS /Sioc)^ 
when all things sprang up unsown and unlabored ; when there 
were no sheaves, but bread ready and meat prepared ; when wine 
flowed in rivers, and there were fountains of milk and honey : 
for all were good and golden, (ayoBol yog %aa,f n^ x^v^^r avavltc). 
Such is the cause of this my short-lived government ; and* on 
.this account, there b every where noise and music and phiy, 
and equal honor among all, as well free as servants.** 

^ This difficulty is stated in Lucian, ibid. p. 815. but it is 
wholly e Faded; Saturn, to whom it is proposed, declartng that 
he has no time to waste in such discussions. 




On the same principle, the time appointed for 
the festival of Nebo admits of an easy explanation. 
The promise of a blessing having been given, by 
which the effects of the curse, incurred at the fall, 
would be remedied ; the time appointed to pre- 
serve the remembrance of the expected benefit 
was naturally fixed to the spring ; as from this sea- 
son the year had declined into the dreariness of 
winter at the time of the fall, and in it Ihe recove- 
ry would again take place, when spring would 
once more be rendered perennial. As the time of 
the vernal equinox has been mentioned, as thatap- 
pointed for the anniversary instituted in honor of 
Hermes ;^ a period nearly coincident with it is 
marked, as the festival of the same god, in the 
calendar of the Sabians. On the twenty eighth, 
day of their month, which corresponds with March, 
they offered a bull and seven lambs f^ and of this 
sacrifice, it is remarkable, that it corresponds with 
that offered, at the consecration of the idolatrous 
priests, in the earliest period of the apostacy of 
the kings of Israel.^^ 

The remains of the ceremonies, performed on 

«W Vid. 8upr. p. 01. n. W. 

W Sraiil. Hist, Philos. Or, Lib. III. cap. iv. " Vigesimo 
octavo cli«{ineD8iA.Nisa{t, Sabaei] ibant ad templum, quod ei% 
erat in cil^itate 8aba» ad certain portam Charanis, Assarab 
dictam, ^t'HemuB Heo svut ingentem taurum^ ut et septenas ap'^ 
n6^ Boptem Diis. • • .mactabant. Festam celebrabant couviviis, 
sed nullum jpecudum partem eo die adolebant." Allowance 
bemg" made for the commencement of the year, according iQ 
Ae J^e^h and J^ilian method of computing time ; Nisan, wfaidi 
in the fiist month of the year, corresponds with MafSIT. Accor-* \ 
ding to Ihe Gregorian from-of year, which we now use the ver* \ 
Ml eifsinox occure on the 2l8t of this month ; to which day it "^ 
likewtM adheredv in the Judian year, for 131 years, from th# 
ttnui of/the Couneil of Nice, A. D. 326. 

^1 2 Chioa. xiti. 9, 


these festivals, bore evidence of their original. 
They appeared naked before the statue of Baal, 
and gathered stones in a heap, before the image 
of Nebo.*^ On the origin of eiUier custom, I con- 
ceive it must be superfluous to enlarge, after the 
very full explanation into which I formerly enter- 
ed on the subject.^^ Nor can it be deemed neces- 
sary to engage in a formal refutation of the unsa- 
tisfactory conjectures,*^ which have been advan- 
ced to account for either custom. The cause 
which has been assigned from the patriarchal his- 
tory for the erection of those mounds, that they 
were intended to mark the scene, and preserve the 
remembrance, of remarkable occurrences; is so 
simple and adequate, as to preclude the necessity 
of tracing it to more artificial causes. Of the ex- 
extraordinary rite by which it was believed that 
Baal was honored, the native writer, to whom I 
formerly referred, has in effect admitted the ori- 

W Vid. supr. p. 91. n.iw w Vid, supr. p. 105. 120. 

<94 Phurnutus, and Eustathius on Homer, as quoted, supr. 
p. 91. n.^^ assign various reasons for the custom of collecting 
stones in honor of Mercuty. They generally trace it to the cause 
assigned by the commentator on the Odyssey : * E^fMfii yeif fa^ 
ff-^olTof , ola, Kvpv^ x^ ^t^xlopo?, N^c,' Hermes, they say, as a herald and 
messenger, cleared the n^gh -ways, if he found stones any where, 
easting them out of it ; from whence, they who followed his ex- 
ample, and cleared the roads, as if for Hermes the messenger, 
called those heaps, raised in honor of him, Hermean mounds, or 
Hermaea.'' By the same writer it is likewise supposed, that 
tiiose monuments served, like sign-posts, to mark particular 
roads, or like mile-stones, to measure distances ; while Phurnu- 
tus observes, that the custom was observed on the public ground 
of utility, and to express respect to Mercury, particularly by 
rendering the site of his statues more evident to travellers* 
Whatever may be thought of the religious cause, in which the 
ancient custom is here supposed to have originated ; it may be 
readily gt anted, that the public grounds, on which it was long 
practised, carry with them some show of probability » 



^in. In referring it to the golden age, in bis des- 
cription of the Satunlalia, he gives it a connex- 
ion with the state of innocence,^ " when they were 
naked dLnd were not ashamed ;" which so adequate- 
ly solves the difficulties of the case, that it leaves 
us nothing further to inquire on the subject. 

Besides the two great festivals, occurring at the 
most remarkable times of the year : it appears that 
the votarists of those gods possessed not only a 
knowledge of the division of the month into 
weeks, but that they distinguished that particular 
day above the rest, which corresponded with the 
Sabbath. As the sanctification of this day was as 
early as the state of innocence,*^ the remembrance 

805 Lucian in his account of the customis observed in keeping 
the Saturnalia, mentions in the number, uti supr. p. 808. yvi^fof 
«^f»v, and p. 810. yvfMvov o^^iaao'^ai, Comp. Gen. ii. 25. 

«96 Dr. Burnet, Epist. II. de Archaeol. Philos. has labored, 
at great length, to prove, that the Sabbath was not observed, 
previously to its injunction, on the delivery of the Law, by Mo- 
ses. His arguments, however, go merely to prove, that thef 
strict observance of the day, by a total cessation from labor, 
was then first enjoined on the Israelites. As the sanctification 
of the Sabbath, as a day of rest, was expressly declared at the 
time of the Creation, Gen. ii. 1, 2, 3: nothing can be more ex- 
press than the testimony of Scripture, that it was observed, as 
a day of rest, previously to its strict injunction by Moses. The 
Law, including the fourth commandment, was not delivered be« 
fore the 3rd day of the third month ^ from the departure from. 
Egypt; comp. Exod. xix. 1. 16. xx. 1. 8. nothing, however, is 
more plain, than that the Israelites gathered manna, from 
the Idth day of the second monthj refraining every seventh day, 
because it was the Sabbath ; comp. ibid. xvi. 1. 8. 13. 22. So 
convinced, indeed, was the great Scaliger, that the order of the 
days of the week was observed, at this early period ; that on the 
last cited texts, he founds his demonstration, that the year 
of the Exod began upon Thursday ; vid. Seal. Emend. Temp. 
Lib. V. p. 374. Can. Isag. p. 281. f. Clemens Alexandrinus, 
Stromat V. p. 600. has shown that the seventh day was account- 
ri sacred by the Greeks, and some other nations ; and Hesiod, 

s 2 


ef which was preserved in the history and worship 
of Baal ; Tery slender prestimptions would justify 
us in concluding, that the knowledge of it was not 
lost among those people, who observed an anniver- 
sary in honor of that deity. How it could have 
been lost seems perfectly inexplicable, while the 
remembrance of that aay is admitted to haive 
been preserved among the Sabians, who received 
their theological system traditionally from the As- 
syrians.*^ It is, however, manifest, that the wor- 
ship of that people contained a weekly, not less 
than a monthly service; and that they divided 
their week into days in every respect similar to 
those, which the Saxons have transmitted to us 
from the Romans.^ Beyond the identity of our 
Saturday with the Jewish Sabbath, it seems 
needless to seek for a proof, that this day was i- 
dentical with that termed by the Romans from 
Saturn,^ and by the Chaldees from his prototype 

Slivering himself to the same purpose, uses the remarkable 
phrase, uti. infr. p. 135. n. f/?iojXD U^of ifMtf. 
. ^ Vid. Stanl. Hist, uti supr. cap. iv. ad init. 

^^ Stanl. uhi supr. cap. iv. p. 311. " Duplici ritu Deos [Sa- 
hsei] colebant quotidiano et menstruo. Quotidianum ita describit 
All Sahai, ' Primum diem consecrant Soli, secundum Lunae, 
tertium Marti, quartum Mercuric, quintum Jovi, sextnm Bel- 
tfaae Veneri, septimum SatumoJ Of Belihis, Le Clerc justly 
observes that it was the name of an Assyrian goddess, and the 
feminine of Bel, or Baal : Ind. in Stanl. sub. voc. *' BeUhis, 
Dea Assyria. . Hebraice n^ri> Baalath^ dotnina ; aut cum Jod, 
^rhtflt Baalthi, domma mea" Analogous to which we find ^hlf2$ 
Hos. ii. 16. and unH, in almost every page of the Old Testament. 

899 The following authority may be quoted, on the identity of 
the Sabbath with Satuiday, even at the period of its institution 
on Sinai : Spenc. de Leg. Hebr. Lib. II. iv. 9. '* For it was 
provided by the Law, not only that a Sabbath, but nnvn the 
Sabbathf namely the day already denominated from Saturn, 
(diem nempe jam a Saturno denominatum) should be solemnly 
kept. The LXX interpreters render rawn DV n«, in a para- 



Baal. And it follows from the^ muk M^ch this 
deity held among the Assyrian gods, that the day 
which was dedicated to his worship was peculiar- 
ly reverenced by his votarists. Nor shotdd it he 
forgotten, in this deduction, that a week ws^s allot- 
ted to the celebration of the Saturnalia, and that 
llie festival was kept, by a general cessation from 
labor, and indulgence in revelry and excess; ^ in 
which there is but too much reason to believe, 
that not merely the Jubilee, kept after a week of 

phrase, rqy ijxepay r^» l^^oixnn, < the seventh day.' To th^ 
same purpose is the explanation in Suidas, i:ot^palov l^^ofAn rifj,,i^» 
irvyx»^* t5 xt;xXtxS 5»af^/x.aIo$, * the Sabbath was the seventh day 
in the hebdomidal cycle.' It was not lawful for the Jewisa 
Church to exercise that authority over the Sabbath, that theg 
might transfer it to any other day, and celebrate the first in 
place of the seventh. For they were bound by the express terms 
of the Law, to the seventh day ; * Kemember the Sabbath-day. • 
six days shalt thou labor, but the seventh is the Sabbath of the 
Lord thy God.' For it is immediately added, 'the Lord refst-s 
ed the seventh day, and blessed the Sabbath day, and hallow- 
ed it.' From whence it appears that God used * the seventh 
day ' and the ' sabbath-day ' as synonymous terms.'* From these 
words I would, however, deduce a different conclusion. For 
it should be observed, as a corrective to the peculiar views of 
th» writer, that die terms, nao^n dv, which he renders ' the 
•abhathrday ,' literally mean < the day of the rest f i. e. of God ; as 
they are generally rendered, Exod xxxi. 15. That day, not 
'^ the day denominated from Saturn," is alluded to in the 
commandment, as the context, which the commentator quotes, 
puts out of dispute ; * Remember the day of the rest, to keep it 
holy. .JFhr ,the Lsrd* ^rested the seventh day ; wherefore the 
Lord blessed the day .of rest and hallowed it.' It may be also 
ohserred, that the terms, ' the seventh day,' are wholly unin- 
telligible, unless on the sapposi^ion, that the order of days in 
the week was observed^ vf^hen the compmandment was given. 

^^ Lucian, Uti supr. p. 808. d. u ayrawV-^s ra7<i [«|66s^«k] l-nn-i, 

0o»9 1^ ir»i^fiiy, 9^f * but in these seven days, it is permitted me to 
perfocmnoldung important or p^^blic, but to drink and revel^ to 
shout Jaod .play ' &Cy 


sabbatical years^ but every other sabbatism of the 
Jews, in some measure participated.*** 

If I have thus far succeeded in carrying the 
reader along with me, it will be admitted., that in 
the rites of Bel and Nebo, the Assyrians not only 
preserved a knowledge of the fall and recovery, 
but that the anniversaries, observed in honor of 
those great national gods, were intended to com- 
memorate those cardinal events in the great scheme 
of man's redemption. Nor can the claims of 
that people to some knowledge and observance 
of the sabbath be reasonably disputed, when it is 
considered, that the sanctification of that day was 
as early as the creation, and a knowledge of the 
division of the week into days was nearly com- 
mensurate with the civilization of mankind : that 
the Sabaists, who derived their knowledge only 
through the Assyrians, gave the very names to the 
days, which the hereditary tyranny of custom has 
still imposed on ourselves." 


*>i Schleusn. Lex. N. T. voc. cra^j9«lMr^<. "Jam quia Ju- 
daei '' &c. " Now because the Jews on the sabbath, ceased Jirom 
all labor and work, and entirely resigned themselves to mirth 
and leisure ; hence a-»ff0etlKriJt.l^ means rest, leisure and a cessa- 
tion from labor, and metaphorically, happiness of every kind, as 

« _ f 99 

^^ Few readers require to be informed, that the names by 
which the days of the week are termed, not only by ourselves, 
but by the European and Asiatic nations, are those which they 
possessed among the Romans. But it is not known, that Wed- 
nesday, the dies Mereurii of the Romans, and Saturday, the 
dies Satumi, of the same people, still retain their oriental 
name$» and in conformity with the religious systemof the Assyri- 
ans, obftmed some degree of reverence above the other days of 
the weekli The Woden of the Saxons, from whom Wednesday 
takes its nnne, was unquestionably the Oden of the Northern na- 
tions, a god 6/ whom these nations confessedly derived their know- 
ledge from thMBast, and the name of whom has been identified 
with the oriental pTM> Adon, which was incorporated in the titles 


That suitably to these festivals, this ancient 
people possessed a religious service, which pre- 
served a general conformity to the patriarchal 
worship might be inferred from their observance 
of sacrifice ; in which is implied not only the exis- 
tence of a priesthood, but the observation of cere- 
monies suitable to the rite which they administer- 
ed. The sacrifices offered '' oii the high places of 
Baal/! when Balaam delivered his first prophecy 
to Balak, are expressly said to have been offered 
by the king and prophet ;^^ and there is evidence 
much stronger than mere presumption, that, jeven 

of the eastern monarchs. The Saturn of the Komans, from whom 
the name of Saturday is derived has been already traced to an 
oriental original, supr. p. 107. n. ^^9, The testimony in favor 
of the reverence paid to the fourth and seventh days, is that of 
one of the oldest pagan writers; the words of Hesiod are 

Ilfulop irfiy Til^a^ Tf x^ iffiofADi, tt^op if^et^. Op. et Dier. 769. 

In which remarkable distich, it is observable, the distribution 
of the days' into months, and the reverence ascribed particularly 
to the fourth and seventh, is traced by this early writer to the 
authority of Jove himself, of whom Selden observes, De Dts. 
Syr. II. i. p. 202. " Jovi$ enim ex Tetragrammati, Europae- 
orum pronunciatione corrupta fiebat ; nee Jupiter aliud sane 
quam Jovispiter, id est *iau vuliip, seu *!»» 7r»li^, Jehovah 
PATER.'^ On this subject, however, a more convenient oppor- 
tunity will occur hereafter to express myself at large. I have 
at present touched upon it, merely on account of the light 
which it throws on the Assyrian theology ; in asserting a prece- 
dency to Saturn and Mercury, among the deities, and in refer- 
ring the division of the week, and the sanctification of the seventh 
day, to its true source, as ascribing it to Him whom the Hea- 
thens accounted the Supreme God. 

303 ]^um. XX vi. 2. *' And Balak and Balaam offeree^ on e- 
very altar, a bullock and a ram." On collating thist passage 
with Num. xxii. 41. it will appear, that this sacrifice was offer- 
ed on ** the high places of Baal." The sabbatical character of 
the rite, as offered on seven altars, is particularly ^orthy of no- 



from this early period, the sacerdotal character 
was combined with the regal and prophetical.^^ 
Positive evidence has been already adduced to 
prove not only the consecration of priests to Baal, 
but by a sacrifice of the same kind as the Sabians 
offered to Hermes.*^ Had there been» in fact, na 
other evidence of the general prevalence of the pa- 
triarchal religion ; the high places consecrated to 
the one divinity, and the pillars dedicated to the 
other,*^ would form lasting memorials, that their 
worship, however lamentably perverted, was diffu- 
sed as widely as the idolatry of the East. For at 
whatever period the profane and abandoned service 
was established, which finally superseded the pure 
patriarchal worship, through that tract of country ; 
no doubt can be reasonably entertained that it was 
derived from a divine original.^ Any other suppo- 
sition being admitted, it becomes wholly inex- 
plicable, how the inhabitants of those regions 

^^ As early as the times of Abraham, we find these charac- 
ter9 united ; Melchizedek is represented as being not only 
''king of Salem/' but "priest of the most high God:" Gen. 
xiv. 18. Of the Assyrian hierarchy all knowledge has perish- 
ed in the wreck of ancient history. But as far as the know- 
ledge of the sacred order may be recovered from the accounts 
transmitted to us of the Persian priesthood, the union of *the sa- 
cred function with the prophetical and regal ctiaracter may be 
satisfactorily established. It is stated by Apuleius, Apol. I. 
p. 32. " Magian, in the Persian language is the same as priest 
in ours ;'* and it is observed by Cicero, De Div. I. xli. that ** no 
one could be king of the Persians who was not informed in the 
knowledge and discipline of the Magians.'* 

«Mf Vid. supr. p. 129. et not. 

3o« Vid. supr. p. 82. n. i^, p. 91. n. W &c. 

^^ Vid. supr. p. 120. et seq. The testimony of a learned 
Platonist on this subject was therefore, not very remote from 
the truth, as stated by Stanley, Hist. Or. Phil. uti. supr. p. 
321. " Cum Proclus *' in Timaeum " adserat, Asssyriam Tkeo- 
logiam a Deo revelatam fuisse,'' — ' that the Assyrian T^keology 
was revealed by God** 


- , ^» 


^loilld have retained their superstitions, with such 
stubborn pertinacity, and have succeeded in se- 
<iucing proselytes to their errors, from, among the 
<chosen people of God. 

In proportion as this subject is more closely ex-- 
amined, we shall find reason to rise in our opini- 
ons of the religious system, embraced by the na- 
tions which composed the Assyrian empire. Al- 
though it cannot be admitted, that the Deity was 
originally acknowledged by them, under the term 
Baal;^* it may be readily conceded to high au:- 
thority, that the Supreme Being was subsequent- 
ly recognised, under tlwit title, through the vast 
continent of Asia.*^ Independent of the argu- 
ments on which this conclusion rests,^® it remains 
to be observed, that in the best authenticated sysr 
terns of the Assyrian cosmogony, the Creator is 
introduced under the term Bel ;^^* where it is 
wholly inconceivable, that p.ny human being, re* 
Cognised under that title, can be intended. The 
same inference may be deduced from the recipro- 
cal manner, in which the titles applied to the 
Pivinity are respectively adopted by the As- 

«08 Seld. de Dh Syr. Synt. II. cap. i. p. 195. 

309 Id. Ibid . 

310 Stanl. Philos. Orient. I, ii. xxxii. p. 260. " Summo iVa- 
meni nomen etimagmem Belt tribuebant [Chaldaei], ut liquet 
ex prohibitiope Dei quae exstat Hos. ii. 16. ' Non vocabis me 
amplius Babali.' Belus euim Chaldseoruni idem est ac Bahal 
l^hoenicum, qua Toce Hebnei domtnifm sigDificant. To account 
for tbe application of the term Baal to the Supreme Being, 
ive need not pass the reason assigned by Le Clerc, Index, in 
^tanl. voc. Belus.-^'' quod [nomen], cum Dominum significa- 
rety potuit tribui numinibus, et praesertini summo .^' This I be- 
lieve to be the case in almost all languages, as is obvious in the 
English word Lord ; which, though it is applied to the Almigh- 
ty, is used as a title of nobility, and even as a proper name. 

• 'l^ Beros. citante Alex. Folyhist. ap. Syncel. Chronogr* 
p. 20. et Euseb. Chron. Graec. Scaligeri, p. 29; 



Syrians and Hebrews ;'^^ which could have scarce- 
ly occurred, had not the same Divine Being been 
recognised, under the proper titles which each na- 
tion adopted. By the ethnics themselves, who 
cite the highest authority acknowledged by their 
religion, in appealing to the oracles, a purer wor- 
ship is ascribed to the Assyrians, in common with 
the Hebrews, whom they represented as adoring 
a God, supreme and unbegotten.^^^ They afford e- 
ven ground for concluding, that they not only re- 
garded both people, as having the same object of 
religious worship; but have identified him with 
the Supreme God, by the incommunicable name 

'1* Selden in reference to the Assyrian gods, observes, de 
D)s Syr. Synt. II. cap. i. — ** vocibus ejusdem fere sinificatio- 
nis, et ab Ebraeis, Arabibus et Graecis, id quod proprium Dei 
Opt. Max. nomen habetur antiquitus data opera explicatum 
saepissime legamus. Tetragrammatum enim nomen mn* red- 
ditur a LXX. 'a^uvcc), aut Kt/^tof , hoc est dominus : et substitu- 

unt Arabesu^Ji alrab, quod idem sonat. Et quam conve- 

nire potuerit ra Btuil nomen Deo vero cap. n. Hosea 
satis monstrat comm. 16. ' £t erit in die ilia dicit Domi- 
nus, vocabis [me] Ishi,' id est maritus mens, * et non voca- 
bis me ultra Baali/ id est *^ri» nimirum Baal mens, &c. 
The learned author might have literally interpreted, * Dominus 
ineus;' in the original sense of the term ^r:x : vid. supr. p. 102. 
Q,£20 jje subsequently observes on the adoption of the term 
nirr* by the Heathen ; ibid. p. 208. ''Nonne enim Aramieis ido- 
lolatris non solum cognitum verum etiam et prolatum legimas ? 
Rabsake apud Jesaiam cap. xxxvi. com. 15. ' Neque confidere 
Yos faciat Hizkijau in mn% dicens, eruendo eruet nos mn*/ 
saepiusque repetit." 

SIS Porphyry in his work on " the Philosophy of the Ora- 
cles," cited by Euseb. Praep. Ev. IX. x. .p. 413. b. quotes the 
following distich of Apollo ; which is also cited by Justin Mar- 
tyr ; Cohort, ad Graec. p. 12. b. 

AvroyiviHo¥ avccxlot (rtffa^OfAtvok @eo9 ayfui. 

In the context of Porphyry's observation, we find ^oti'»|» re jc; 
Xax^aioK, 'AtrQvfioi yu^ 2ro» ; thus identifying the Chaldeans a» 



Jehovah.^^* Nor will this deduction appear impro- 
bable or forced, when it is remembered, that those 
nations respectively referred their origin to the 
patriarch Shem ; in whose line, the knowledge of 
the true God was preserved, however his worship 
became depraved and perverted. 
. Admitting what cannot be reasonably denied, . 

that any traditionary knowledge derived from pro- / 
phetical sources, was preserved among the Assy- 
rians ; it may seem superfluous to insist further / 
on a point, which is yielded in this concession. / 
That they attained some light, in this respect, 
may be collected from the prophecy which they 
ascribed to their great progenitor, which declared 
that the world would be successively destroyed 
by a deluge and conflagration. But it may be inr 
ferred from records of the highest authority, that 
they possessed information derived from other 
sources than, tradition, and that much of this 
knowledge was derived from the predictions of 
Balaam. Express intimation had been given, by 
the Mesopotamian diviner, of the great national 
revolutions which should precede the establish- 
ment of an universal empire under an expected 
Deliverer .^^^ In his prediction, the part was not 

314 Selden closes his induction of authorities, on the identity 
of the terms Jehovah and Jove, vi^ith the following oracle of 
the Clarian Apollo; Dis Syr. uti supr. p. 202. ** Nee Jupi- 
ter aliud sane est quam Jovispiter, id est 'lau iratlr,^, seu laov 
vali^, Jehovah pater. Notum illud Apollinis Claru oraculum, 

Cornelius Laheo hahet apud Macrobium Sat. I. cap. xviii/' 
Had the nature of the digamma been investigated, when this 
observation was made by its learned author, the identity would 
have been rendered more striking, by writing the last title in 
the improved orthography, \eiv<a. 

31^ Lactantius details, at considerable length, the opinions 
held by the Christians ond HeathenS; of his own age, respect- 

T 2 


less plainly indicated which the Assyrians would 
perform in effecting those grand revolutions : and 
It specified the reverses to which their emjnre 
would be subjected by the invasions of the wes- 
tern nations. In such intimations, it may with 
the highest probability be inferred, that expecta- 
tion originated, which we have unquestionable 
authority for believing universally prevalent 
throughout the East ; that out of Judea should 
come those who would attain universal domini- 
on/^® As the announcement of the expected per- 
son's appearance, was coupled with the prediction 
of those great national revolutions, which would 
make way for his empire ; it was not unnaturally, 
though most erroneously conceived, that he would 

ing the revolutions of empires, and the decline of secular power 
which should precede the advent of the Messiah, and the es- 
tablishment of his kingdom ; Divin. Instit. Lib. V II. cap. xv. 
seq. His fifteenth chapter which is preceded by the title, 
*^ De mundi vastatione, et mutatione imperiorum/' contains the 
following passage, which forms no inapposite commentary on 
the close of Balaam's prophecy ; ** Nam et ^gyptios, et Per-* 
sas, et Graecos, et Assyrios proditum est regimen habuisse ter- 
rarum ; quibus omnibus destructis, ad Romanos quoque rerum 
summa pervenit. Qui quanto cteteris omnibus regnis magnitu- 
dine antestant, tanto majore decident lapsu, quia plus habent 
ponderis ad ruinam, quae sunt caeteris altiora." He proceeds 
to state, that this consummation was announced by the pro- 
phets ; and in his eighteenth chapter adduces the testimony of 
the ethnic prophets, on this subject ; quoting Hystaspis, Her- 
mes and the Sibyl, which disclose the Tiews entertained on these 
subjects, by the Persians, Egyptians and Romans. 

**^ Suetonius Vit. Vespasian, cap, iv. " Precrebuerat Oriett- 
te toto vetiis et constans opinio,' esse in fatis, ut eo tempore Ju" 
dcea profecti rerum potirentur.*' Tacitus Hist. Lib. V. " Plu- 
ribus peisuasio in e rat, antiquis sacerdotum Uteris contineri, fore 
ut claresceret Oriens, profectique Jvdtsa rerwn potirenturj^ A 
more convenient opportunity will occur, for entering into the 
subject of these extraordinary testimonies, when the expecia** 
tions of a Deliverer held by the Romans are investigateq, ' 


^iippear as a great military conqueror. For this 
supposition receives no countenance tn the pre«^ 
diction of Balaam, which represents the advent of 
the divine person, as distant, and postponed to 
those great revolutions ; and 'is directly opposed 
to the prophecy of Jacob, which designated hifli 
by a title which signified pacific. 

If it be allowed, that those notions had any in- 
fluence on the religious belief of the Assyrians, 
they will satisfactorily account for some innova- 
tions which appear to have arisen in the national 
religion of that people. And should it even be sup- 
posed that these changes proceeded from the op- 
eration of different causes ; they will still serve to 
illustrate and confirm the deductions which have 
been previously made, on the subject of their po- 
pular superstitions. • • 

At the remarkable period, when the divine de- 
nunciations against the kingdoms of Israel and 
Assyria were carried into effect, the prophets, 
who gave intimation of their approach, in passing 
i^entence on the gentile superstitions, have speci- 
fied the 4>rincipal objects of their worship. By 
Isaiah, whose warning voice was chiefly raised to 
prepare the Israelites for the judgments which a- 
waited their apostacy, the great gods of Assyria 
axe marked out for destruction r^^'^ ** Bel bow- 
eth down, NebOy stoopeth : their idols were upon 
the beasts, and upon the cattle . . .they stoop, they 
. bow down together, they could not deliver the 
burden, but themselves are gone into captivity." 
By Jeremiah who was deputed to menace the 
house of Judah with a repetition of the judgments, 
which had been visited on their captive brethren of 
Israel, the same subject is thus renewed ;'^® ^* How 

«7 Is. xlvi. 1, 2. ' 318 Jer. li. 41. 44. 47. 

1 1 J ■ 


is Sheshach taken, and how is the praise of the whole 
earth surprised. . . I will punish Bel in Babylon, . . 
the nations shall not flow together any more unto 
him : yea the wall of Babylon shall fall There- 
fore behold the days come, that I will do judg- 
ment upon the graven images of Babylon." 

In proceeding to identify, in the two gods who 
are the objects of both prophets' denunciations, 
the great national divinities of the Assyrians ; it 
is merely necessary to state, that Hermes or Mer- 
cury was reverenced by the Babylonians under a 
name which immaterially differs from Sesach,^^^ 
used by Jeremiah. When it is remembered, that 
the Assyrian Nebo whom Isaiah notices, has been 
proved identical with the same god f^ we possess, 
in the affinity of those names, and the identity of 
the subject which engages both prophets, suffi- 
cient authority for concluding, that the same god 
is intended by them, under different titles. Nor 
is it undeserving of remark, that the difference in 
the designation of those gods by the inspired 
writers, corresponds with the diversity of th<eir 
subject ;^^ the one prophet adopting the common 

3^9 Selden in the doubts which he expresses on the Babylo- 
nian divinity Sesach, and his festival, admits the identity of 
Seches with Hermes, or Mercury : de Dts Syr. ubi supr. p. 347. 
'' Utrum cum diebus Saceis quid fuerit ra Xi^t?* nempe Baby- 
loniorum Mercurio, commune, statuere nequeo. Certe vocabu- 
lorum soni satis adfines sunt. £t liberum esto cuique suum heic 
judicium. Hesychius : Ssxe; rS *£p/AS arif * j3a/3t;X.^yiot." Vossius 
observes on this subject, De Idol. Lib. II. cap. xxiii. " Itidem 
quaeri possit, quod numen sit Sesach ? Sane valde ei affine Se- 
ehes, de quo Hesychius. • • • Atque in Sesach et Seches easdem 
habes radicales, sed posteriores, ut saepe fit, trajectas." 

3«o Vid. supr. p. 1 11. u.2». 

*** Jerome, Com. in Jer. xxv. 26. Tom. III. p. 286. a. en* 
ters into a long Rabbinical illustration, founded on the permu- 
tation of letters, to account for the designation of Babylon, under 


name, while expressing himself on the general 
subjfect of the Assyrian superstitions ; the other 
selecting the local appellation, while delivering 
himself on the particular subject of the Babylo- 
nian. The antecedent conclusion, however, de* 
rives additional support, from a festival which 
was observed by the Babylonians, and appears 
from its name, to have been instituted in honor of 
their god Sesach or Hermes. 

The anniversary of this festival, which the 
Greeks termed the Sakean days : or (if we may 
be allowed to substitute the pure oriental for the 
corrupt western orthography,) which were proba- 
bly termed the Sesachean days f^ was celebrated 
for five days, commencing from the 16th day of 
the month Lous On this occasion, the lord and 
his slaves changed their respective stations ; the 
servant assuming the place and authority of his 
master. One, selected from their number, was 

the tenn Sesach. The refutation of his labored hypothesis may 
be found in Vossius, uti supr. p. 211. -who solves the imaginary 
difficulty created by the learned father, thus simply and satis^ 
factorily : ** Quanto igitur verisimilius, quod dicebamus, ^ir« 
^iltfyv^iay Deum tutelarem sumi pro urbe, quam tutaretur. Ut 
si Bel dicatur cecidisse pro civitate Beli/' 

^^ The learned writer to whom we are indebted for the re- 
covery of the remains of the Assyrian superstition gives the 
following account of this festival, which he deduces from the 
Babylonian god Sesach : Seld. de Dis Syr. ubi supr. '* Sesach 
numen est apud Jeremiam c. xxv. com. 26. et li. com. 41. 
Ab eo, sic volunt viri doctissimi, Sacea, Festum Bdbyhmiorum^ 
dicta, seu viit,i^a<i j:»Ki»q^ uti apud Romanes Saturnalia a Satur-^ 
no. Atque ut Satumalibus, servis epulantibus famulabantnr 
domini, ita et in diebus Saceis ; qui quinque erant continui quo- 
rum primus erat xvi. mensis Loi. • • • De festo autem et mensis, 
quo celebrabatur, die, testimonium Berosi Chaldaei ab injuria 
temporis servavit Athenaeus Dipnosoph. XIV.'* He subjoins 
the testimony of the Chaldaean historian, as preserved by this 
wiiter, th3 substance of which is given in the preceding obser* 


arrayed in a royal garb, and constituted ruler of 
the festivity, and in consequence of his jwrece- 
dence, was termed the Sagan^^ or Prefect. 

The striking resemblance of this festival of the 
Babylonians to the Saturnalia of the Romans, had 
it not been observed by, the ancient writer who 
has preserved the account of it, would be directly 
apparent on comparing them together. After 
what has been already observed on the Roman 
festival, and its connexion with the worship of 
Bel and Nebo,'^ little remains to be added in il- 
lustration of the Sesachean days, observed by the 
Babylonians. As the first or golden age, which 
this festival was intended to commemorate, was re« 
garded by the Chaldeans, not merely as a succes- 
sion of events which was already past, but as a 
state of things which would be restored after a 
lapse of ages,*^ it was considered not merely in re- 
ference to the fall but to the recovery. The ex- 
pectation of this great restitution having been as- 
sociated with the rise of a great conqueror ; as the 
first prince who aimed at the subjugation of the 
eastern empire, was termed Sesach;^ nothing 
is more probable than that it was from him the 
Babylonian festival derived its name, or received 

323 Of this term the subjoined derivatioD is given by SeMen 
and approved by Vossius ; de Dis Syr. uti supr. " Servi autem 
nomen qui festo praefuit, et Zogana heic dicitur, Chaldaicam 
petit originem. liam pD, Segan, prafecius est, in ea dialec- 

3«* Vid supr. p. 128. seq. ^ Vid. supr. p. 94. n.«>*. 

326 Xhe iaiantity of Sesachwith the Egyptian Sesostris^ is 
apparently asserted by Josephus, Antiq. Lab. VIII. iv. p. 
279. e. following Herodotus, Lib. II. cvi. and expressly maio- 
tained by Man^am, Can. Chron. p. 22. 358. and Pezron, An- 
tiq. des terns, p. 99. I profess myself not wholly Convinced 
by the objections to their hypothesis, urged by Perizonius and 
other French writers. 


its institutian.. Ofthepreipossessions of the vulgar, 
whom hereditary prejudice, or superstitious cre- 
dulity might have led to expect such a deliverer^ 
an ambitious and politic conqueror may be natu- 
rally supposed to have taken advantage. In Se- 
sac, a person presented himself, who was answer- 
able to the character, which they were disposed 
to identify in the prophecy of Balaam. He was 
a great conqueror, the invader of Ji^dea, and the 
avenger of its idolatry :^^ he would be thus readi* 
ly received, as the personage who was foretold by 
tne prophet. As the great end of the appearance 
of this personage was the restitution of the golden 
age ; or, as it was expected, that at that period he 
would make his appearance ; there could be no 
mode of realising these prospects different from 
that of introducing some rites or customs, similar 
to those which were observed in the Sesachean 
days, or Roman Saturnalia. Nor is the confirma- 
tion slight, which this hypothesis, offered to account 
the origin of the Babylonian festival, receives 
from the testimony of the Jewish historian, that 
pillars, similar to those raised in honor of Hermes, 
were erected by Sesac, as the bounds of his Asia- 
tic conquests,'® and that Sesostris with whom he 
is identified, was made the pupil of the same 

^^ 1 KiDff xiy. 25. seq. 2 Cliroii. xii. 2. seq. 

^^ Vid. Joseph, uti supr. n. ^*>. Nor is this conclusioD in- 
validated by the testimony of Herodotus, as cited by the Jew- 
ish historian, who declares that he saw in Palestine, pillars with 
emblems of a contrary character to those generally affixed to 
the Hermean statues. These monuments were raised in deri- 
sion of a weak and pusilanimous population ; nor can any rea- 
son be assigned for their erection more obvious, than that they 
were intended to reproach that people with worshipping a di- 
vinity of different sex from him who was generally reverenced 
hy the extern nations. 

V ■ ■ ■- 


god;'*^ in such a prince, vre might naturally ex-^ 
pect to find thig foundet of the festival of Sechei^. 

Buti in Salmanazar, who filled the Aisdyrian 
throne, iii the inost eventful period of Jewish his- 
tory> most of the circumstances which had been 
predicted by Balaam, and erroneously associated 
'^ith the character of Sesac, were really united^ 
This monarch, as I have already intimated, provo^ 
ked by the revolt of Hosea, who sought an alliance 
with the king of Egypt, came up against Samaria ; 
ind having besieged it three years, he took it in 
the fourth yfear of Hezekiah, ai^ led away the re- 
tttainder of the tribes of Israel, in captivity to Me-» 
dia ; whither the two tribes and a hau, which were 
Settled beyond Jordan, had been carried, eleven 
years previously by Tiglath Belasar.*** As that 
prince had carried the denunciations of Balaam 
against Moab, arid the idolaters of Palestine,*^ 
into effect ; and as the extirpation of their images 
was the great boast of the Assyrian monarchs,*'* 
he was not unnaturally conceived, to be the per- 
sonage marked out in the prediction of the Meso-^ 
potanlian prophet. 

Ill the history of this prince, it might be reason- 
ably presumed, some of the circumstances would 
be discoverable, which the Asiatics were accus- 
tomed to associate, with the appearance of that 
expected personage^ to whom their views had 
been immemorially directed. Arid this supposi- 
tion is singularly verified by fact. Besides the 
anniversaries, which were held at the time of the 
equinoxes, or at the commencement and close of 

32» iElian. Var. Hist. XII. iv. 

^^ 2 King. xvii. 3 seq. ^^ Vid. supr. p. 68. seq. p. 95. seq^ 

«2 2 King. xix. 12, 13. 2 Chron xxxii. 13, 14. 19. 

»»3 2 King. xix. 17. 18, corop. Is, x, 10, 11. 

OF A GREAT D£L1V£H£R. 14? 

■ • * • - 

the natural year ; they had a period cousisting o^T 
many centuries, to which they gave the name of 
the Gre^t Year, aijid at the epd pf which they ex^ 
pected a great restitution,^^* The commencemea:!* 
of one such period they have fixed in the reign of 
3^maina$ar, or made it coincident with the acces- 
sixm of this prince, who had effected those great 
politi^^l changes in the western region of Asia^ by 
wbich it was believed, the expected restitution 
would be preceded. In this period the celebrated 
epoch is placed, which is so much used by the 
ancient astronomers, and termed from its suppo- 
sed founder the era of Nabonasar,^^ who has been 
already mientioned, as identical witli the Salmana-r 
ssr of Scripture. 

The first circumstance, deserving of remark, in 
this celebrated era, is that of its constituting the 

?** Vid. »upr. p. 04. n.«^*. On the the subject of this period, 
Pr. Burnet thus expresses himself : Sacr. Theor. B. III. ch. 
iii. Vol. II. p. 42. •* But the difficulty is to 6nd.out the true 
potion of this Great Year, what is to be understood by it, and 
then of what length it is. They aH agree that it is a Ijime of 
aotfie gre^t instaucation ,af a11 things, or a Re$titution o^ iJie 
hecuoeM and ike ^ar^h to tluir former state; that i^, to the stat^ 
and posture tliey had at the beginning of tl\e world, suc^ 
thc^refore a$ will reduce the Golden Age, and thai happif $taie 
^mature, wjierein things were at ^rs/tJ^ 

^^ After havjing <)Qscribed the jB^yptiafU fQ,reat Y^a^, ^^\ 
infr. n.3'^. Petayius gives the follow;ing .succinct account of 
the era of Niaboaas^ur: ^aJ^iQii* Temp. p. II. Lib. I. cap. 
2ii. p. 91' ** ^gyptiacus et vagus i^te " &c. *' This Eg^^ptian 
and $iG(ibulatory year m^ ^ave several epochs ; of which the 
jQQst C3lebr»ted, a^d ^bat used by the ancient astronomers, was 
the e;ra of Njabonasar, which the Egyptians received from thiB 
BabyJOiuans. For Nabofiasssur was King of the Chaldeans 
fr^NRi«;ho^ accession tbe Babylonians instituted a new ecft.. 
iQiiftPpp the ^a of [N^f^bon^asar had ^ts curigin ; the beginning of 
.wbkb fiiiJ^s^ ji^<^ yoar §^7 pftfie Julian Period, qv, Wedges- 
4^af* F^uftiy 8^, (PiCr. fFnl. ^067. JFebru^ii W. i^ria .4.) 
Ih*W? <iJbri^t 7^7." 

V 2 


epoch of a Great Year, as calculated by the Egyp- 
tians.^ It is a singular fact, that for such a pe- 
riod, consisting of 1460 years, the old Assyrian 
monarchy had lasted, from the time of its foun- 
dation by Belus ; and that according to the calcu- 
lations of some chronologists, this empire ter- 
minated as the era of Nabonasar commenced: 
it is atleast generally allowed, that this era was 
introduced, as the epoch of the restitution of the 
Assyrian monarchy .^^ The period of a Great 

^^ The Great Year of the Egyptians is thus described by 
Petavius, uti supr. p. 37. '' Horum annorum ea conditio est** 
&c. ''The circumstance of these [Egyptian] years is, that at 
the close of every fourth year, the beginning of the year falls 
back and anticipates one day : and atlength after 1460 Julian 
years, or 1461 Egyptian, the new-year's day returns to the 
same day of the year, from whence it set out." In fact, as the 
year exceeds 365 days, by nearly a quarter of a day ; the 
Egyptians having neglected to intercalate, lost a day every 4th 
year, and a whole year in 1460 years^ or four times 365 years. 
Of course the first day of their year fell back 1 day in four 
years; and 365 days, or a year, in 1460 years : when, having 
regained its original place, one Great Year terminated, and an- 
other commenced. 

^'7 After a laborious investigation of the opinions of the an- 
cients on the duration of the Assyrian Empire, M. des Vign- 
oUes comes to the conclusion, Chronol. Tom. IT. p. 210. 
*' Depuis Belus premier roi des Assyriens, cette monarchie du- 
ra, 1459. ans, suivant n6tre catalogue." For the establishment 
of the era of Nabonassar, he assigns the following reason. Ibid, 
p. 372. "Tenons nous y done. * Sic enim,' comme M. Peri- 
zonius le souhaitoit, ' sdiam habebimus rationem Epochs novee 
ab illius regno potissimum derivandae.' C'^toit nne nouvelle 
ijdonarchie : et pour mieux dire, le retwuvellement tTune anden- 
ne monarchie, ^teinte depuis un tems immemorial ; si on remon- 
te jusqu' d la coqu^te de Ninus: ou interrompue durant 150 
ans ; si on la regarde comme la m^me, que celle des anciens 
Assyriens. VoilE une raison hUtorique de V Ere de Nabonastar,^' 
Though the interruption in the duration of this empire, b thus 
immaterial to my argument ; it is curious to observe, that Abp. 
Ussher makes the termination of the Assyrian empire, corres- 
pond with the beginning of the era of tftrinmasar: VignoUes, 


Year, for wKich this empire lasted, and in which 
the notion of a restitution was implied, we thus 
find commencing under a monarch named Bel, 
and restored under one who was termed from 
Nebo : these being the titles of those deified per- 
sonages, under whom it was believed the fall 
had taken place, and the recovery would be ef- 
fected.'* This circumstance, though curious in it- 
self, would probably not merit remark, did it not 
appear, that in the change introduced by the es- 
tablishment of this era, the new year's day, which 
gave its proper character to the whole period ^ 
was shifted from Saturday, to Wednesday ; the E- 
gyptian Great Year having commenced on the for- 
mer day,*^ and the era of Nabonasar on the lat- 

ibid. p. 173. '' Usserius met le commencement de Ninus, et de 
1* Empire des Assyriens, k I'an P. J. 3447. A quo! ajoiitant 
les 520 ans, dont parle Herodote, on aura pourla Jinde rem- 
pire des Assyriens, tan P.J. 3967. gut fut Pan premier de VEre 
de Nabonasmr, etduroyaume desBabylonien8,Yid.supr, p. 9.n.^^. 

33S X he great Restitution held by the Orientalists vfas sup- 
posed to bring a return of the Saturnian or golden age ; via. 
supr. p. 10. n.^9 and p. 147. n.^^*, As the identity of Bel and 
Saturn has been admitted, supr. p. 92. n.^^: according to 
the notions of the Orientalists, the person -who would be resto- 
redy at the time of the Grand Restitution, would be Belus, the 
founder of the Assyrian empire. 

339 The character of the Great Canicular year of the Egyp- 
tians is thus stated by the learned chronologist, who has been 
lately quoted on the era of Nabonasar; Vignolles, ibid. p. 
693. " Le Grand Cycle Caniculaire commen^a, comme je J'aj 
dit, le 20 de Juillet, V An 3389 de la P6riode Julienne. Cette 
ann^e fut la premiere du Cycle Solaire ; dpnt 121 6toient deja 
ecoulez ; et eut par consequent, pour lettres dominicales G. F. 
dont la demiere servit, depuis le commencement de Mars. Or 
le 20 de Juillet a la lettre E, pour cftractere invariable. II 
s'ensuit de 1^, que le 20 du Juillet, de cette ann6e, fut le der- 
nier jour de n6tre Semaine, que nous appellons Samedi. Ce 
fat done par un Samedi, que commen^a la nouvelle forme d'an-* 
n6e des Egyptiens ; et une nouvelle peiiode, trois ifois plus lon- 
gue, que les prec6danteS; puisqu' elle ne devoit finir qu'atibout 


tsrJ^ Of the days of the week, as Saturday wa$ 
sacned to Bel, and Wednesday to Nebo;**^ the 
Great Year, by this innovation, jmssed from im*- 
der the tutelage of the one divinity to that of the 
other ; having undergone a change similar to that 
which it has experienced under the Christians nnd 
Mohammedans, who have respectively substitiu* 
ted, for the Sabbath of the Jews, a day of religi- 
ous rest, in Sunday and Friday. 

If the observations formerly made an the origin 
of the Assyrian gods, be admitted to be well 
founded, that they derived their imaginary exis- 
tence from tradition and prophecy ; they will ade- 
quately account for the change thus introduced in 
the Great Year, by the establishment of a new 
epoch. In a word, as the period of which sych 
years were composed was conceived to bring a- 
bout a great conversion ; the year, which original- 
ly commenced with the day of Saturn or B^l, un- 
der whom the fall had occurred, was naturally 
replaced by a new-year, which commenced with 
the day of Hermes or Nebo, under whom the re- 
de 1461 aas. Aimi le Grand Cycle Canicukure a pour car/oe^ 
tere le SamedV 

^^ I have already stated, on the authority of Petavius, that 
Ihe characteristic of the era of Nabonasar was TFedneiday. I 
shall here add the proof of it, constructed similarly to that 
^ven by des Vi^oUes, in the preceding note, on th^ great 
Canicular year of the Egyptians. It is uniformly allowed by 
chroBologists that the era of Nabonasar cpnuaenoed, as I have 
stated from Petavius, on February 26th in the year 3967 of the 
Julian Period. This year was the 19th of the Solar Cyole^^of 
which 141 had expired, and consequently had £ for its do^ii- 
nical letter. But February 26 has A lor its iu¥a,ria,Ue charac- 
teristic ; whidi being the third fcom £, 4;he iSmduy letter in 
dus year, was Aecesaaiily Wecbiesda^. It was with Weoesday 
of course, that the era, 4^ NabonoMr commenced, which thu$ ha$ 
Wedme$dayfor Us charaoteri^, €rmei»'^feaT*$day* 
Vid, supr. p. 132. n. ^, j. 134. n, 3^. 


covery was expected : for tbas it was supposed that 
great restitution, which was implied in the nature 
of such a year, would be finally effeeted. 

Whether the establishment of this new era, cor* 
respondent to which we shall behold similar Chan* 
ges introduced in the calendar of the Persians and 
Romans, is to be imputed to Nabonasar, or to 
one of his successors ; the epoch from which it is 
calculated is dated from the time of his accession^ 
and precedes, but by a few years, the period of 
the captivity and dispersion of the Israelites, by 
Salmanasar king of Assyria. Assuming that the 
same prince is intended under these different tit- 
tles ;^® as this prince had been the great instru- 

342 jiie objections wbich appear to lie against considering 
Nabonasar and Salmanasar the sapie king, in consequence of 
a difference in these names, have been already considered; snpr, 
p. 122 n.^'. The supposed dissimilarity between them, (which 
is bpposed to Hie express testimony of the IxxX^jcrtartxi roix^iuo-i^ 
^ven by Syucellus,) seems to rest on a very insecure fouuda- 
tidii ; as bottomed on the Canon of Ptolemy, which was first 
publislied by Scaliger. Trom this document, a succession of 
Babyilcmai/i, kings, at the head of whom stands Nabonasar, has 
been extracted, atid opposed to the succession of Assyrian 
kihgs^ mentioned in Scripture, among whom occurs Salmanasar. 
This distinction, however, unfortunately derives no countenance 
from the document on which it is founded ; as in it, the succes- 
ofJ^a^y Ionian kings, Mffereftit from the kings of Assyria, are 
expressly termed, hebc^yauv AtTov^mt t^ Mi^m ; vid. Seal. Euseb, 
Chron. Graec. p. 88. Can. Isagog. p. 285. Petav. Rat. Temp. 
II. p. 283. seq. The chronologists who maintain this diffe- 
rence bettreen the succession of Assyrian and Babylonian 
kings, and place Salmanasar amopg the former, and Nabonas- 
ar atnong the latter, are notwithstanding obliged to admit, that 
Nabonasar was governor of Babylon, and that Asaradon was 
king of Assyria, before they respectively became king of Baby- 
Ion. As those kingdoms tiius interchanged their rulers, it is 
obvious, that the different accounts which make the former*king 
of Babylon, tinder the name of Nabonasar, and king of Assy- 
ria, unaer the name of Salmanasar, miay be both true ; as hav- 
ing risen from the government to the throne of Babylon, he 


ment, by which the prophecies uttered against the 
captive nation had been carried into effect, and 
particularly, as he had succeeded in subverting 
their idolatrous worship, he might, by no unnatural 
mistake, be supposed the person intended in those 
predictions. This supposition, which derives no 
inconsiderable support from the names which he 
assumed, on which I formerly hazarded a conjec- 
ture ;^ receives still stronger confirmation, from 
the remains of his history which have escaped the 
ravages of time ; in which a character is ascribed 
to him conformable to the title pacific, which has 
been mentioned, as implied in the name Salmana- 
sar. In a passage, purporting to be extracted 
from the annals of Tyre, and in which he was ex- 
might have thence ascended the throne of Assyria. And 
this view of the subject receives authority from Scripture, which 
yrhile it makes Salmanasar *' king of Assyria,'' 2 King. xvii. 3. 
assigns him that authority over Babylon, Ibid 24, i30. in trans- 
porting its inhabitants to the countries which he had depopula- 
ted by his conquests, which is irreconcilable with the supposi- 
tion, that the latter kingdom was governed at the time by an 
independant sovereign. Taking a view thus comprehensive 
of the subject, the apparently contradictory accounts of this 
prince are easily reconciled. As it appears, from the Eccles- 
iastical Catologue of Syncellus, that one prince was designated 
by both names, who reigned twenty-five years; and from the 
Canon of Ptolemy, that the first fourteen years of his govern- 
ment were spent at Babylon, while Tiglath Belasar filled the 
Assyrian throne : to which he succeeded after that time, having 
deputed Nadius to the government of Babylon, over which he 
still retained a controul. 

»*' Vid. supr. p. 122. n. «73 it is remarkable, that corres- 
pondent to the origination which has been ascribed to the 
names Salmanasar and Nabonasar, both of which have a rela- 
tion to prophecy ; the former, which is deducible from a. saj^red 
term, is that exclusively used by the inspired writers ; and that 
the latter, which is derived from an idolatrous title^ is that gene- 
rally adopted by the profane. 

„^ a -I— 1 



pressly introduced by name> it is recorded,^ that 
** having employed his forces in reducing the Ci- 
tians^ against whom in consequence of their re- 
volt, the Tyrians employed a naval armament ; and 
having rendered himself master of Phenicia, and 
made peace with all, he returned into his own 
country." The dissemination of those prophe- 
cies, which appear to have extended their influ- 
ence as far as Rome, being admitted ; it can be 
little wonderful to find the natives of a spot so in- 
considerable as Citium, inspired with confidence, 
not merely to resist the authority of Tyre , but the 
power of Assyria. For in those pre3tetions it 
was declared, Iliough with a different sense, and in 
allusion to a different period, that ''ship3 would 
come from the side of Citium, and would afi^iict 
the Assyrians and afiiict the Hebrews, who were 
reserved for destruction." 

In the institution of the era termed from Nabo^- 
nasar, I conceive, there is an indirect proof'** of 

] «44 Menand. ap. Joseph. Antiq. xiv. p. 325. 

s*^ To the observations offered on the Babylonian era term-r 
ed from Nabonasar, much might be added ; the following par- 
ticulars, if considered iinfounded, will atleast be admitted to be 
curious. From what has been already intimated, supr. p. 126. 
n.^^^. it appears, that at the epoch, in which this era commen- 
ced, the vernal equinoctial point was identified with a parti- 
ticular part of the heaivens, from whence the motions of the 
heavenly bodies in longitude have been calculated, from that 
time to the present day. ' Thus J. Cappel, whose testimony 
bears immediately on our subject, in enumerating from Adam 
to Christ 4000 years, describes the equinox, which occurred at; 
the time of the Creation ; observing ** 4000mo ante Christi ae- 
ram anno, solem Aprilis 21mo, feria 4ta.fuisse in Arietis Imo, 
circa meridianum Babylonis.*' Where the equinoctial point, 
conformably to the preceding observation, is identified with 
'* thejirst degree of Aries," though situated at the time, in the 
sign Taurus. The observation of Cappel will be subject of fu- 
ture consideration ; the reader cannot fail to be struck with th^ 
occurrence of the equinox on Wednesday,, at the beginning of 


the expectatiops fornied by the Assyrians of a^ 
great restitution, and of the connexion of those 
notions with the prophecry of Balaam, which cv- 
pressltf rcferre4 to the period at which the era 
wa^ established, if not to the conquests qf the 
fringe from whom it wm termed. In this single 
consideration, the comn^unication of his preoic- 
tions to the Assyrians, who subdued, and led cap- 
tive, the nation by whom they were unquestion- 
ably preserved, is suflBiciently accounted for ; with- 
out having recourse to the conjecture, that his 
prophecies were preserved in the archives of some 
college of Chaldeans or Magians.^*^ Even in the 
enlightened and sceptical age in which we live, 

the Great Sabbatical Year, by which the Miileniom has been 
calculated by the primitive ohristians, vid. Burnet, uti supr. 
B. TV. ch. Ti. p. 246. On the antecedent subject, it remaing 
to be observed, that by identifying the equinoctial point with a 
particular degree of the Zodiac; a place of appulse was deter- 
mined, by which the great period, in which the precession was 
performed, might be calculated. And by identifying it with 
that particular degree, which it reached at ike ver^al setison ; it 
\vaj9 contrived, that in this season, that period which they term- 
ed the Great Year should begin and end. Such objects perfect- 
ly corresponded with the views entertained of the Great Year. 
The opinions held by the ancients, respecting this period 
of the e()uinoctiaI precession, are thus stated by Dr. Buruet, 
11 ti supr. p. 41. '* When they [the fixed stars] have finished the 
circle of this retrogradation and com^ up again to the same place 
irom whence they started at the beginning of the world, then 
the course of natiire will be at an end; and either the heavens 
will cease from all motion, or a new set of motions will be set 
afoot, and the ivorld begin again" He subsequently observes, 
in reference to the Great "X^^t; ibid. p. 43. that " at the begin- 
ning of the world there was an equinox throughout all the earth" 
and in consequence of the posture of the e^rtfa, ** a perpetual 
sjffriiig.'' To this description the preceding observations, may 
Ije easily applied. 

3^6 Such was the opinion of Origen; Horn. xiii. in Num. 
cpntr. Cels. Lib. I. cap. Ix. in which the generality of the 
christian fathers concur. 


were a prediction, describing our successes in the 
East, discovered in the sacred books of aiiy of the 
oriental nations, who have sabtnitted to our arms : 
it could not foil to excite our interest and atten- 
tion. But the Assyrians, who found such a proi 
jphecy among the Israelites whom they subdued, 
were neither enlightened nor incredulous, but 
superstitious and barbarous ; and in this prophe- 
cy, preserved in the sacred books of their captives; 
tney discovered the production of a native prophet : 
how it could have been disregarded by his compa- 
triots, I confess myself unable to conceive. 

But without reasoning merely from moral proba- 
bilities, there arises very strong prestf motive proofs, 
not merely in the conduct of Salmauasar, during 
his expedition against Israel, but in the form of 
yeaf tvhich was adopted in the era dated from his 
accession, that evinces the light in which the pro^ 
phet's predictions were regarded, and that mo- 
narch's character was viewed* 

Thouofh the provocation whieh Salmanasar re- 
ceived from the king of Judah who revolted ,a- 
gainst him, was greater than that which exerted 
the enmity of his son Senstcherib, or drew dowi!i 
the vengeance of Nebuchadnezzar ;^ he left the 
Jewish territory unmolested, while he subverted 
the throne of Israel, and led its tribes into capti- 
vity.**® When we remember that Assyria was 
then in the plenitude of its power, and .consider 
the proud ccwfidenree hf bis superiOTity, with 
which the son of Salmanasar defied the same 
king of Judah,**^ who tad revolted with impunity 

w 2 King, xviii. 7. 13. atxiv. Iv 

^ Ibid. xvii. 4, 5, 6. xvi^. 9. n. 

^ XbidL axH. lO;* ieq. Is. xxxi^<, 4. st^ 

X 2 


against his father : to whatever causes the forbear- 
ance of the elder monarch may be attributed, such 
as are adequate to account for his conduct, are 
deducible from the prediction of Balaam. The 
prophet had asserted the permanent sway of *' the 
sceptre which should rise out of Jacob," in an ex-. 
press reference to the patriarch's words, who had 
declared, ** that the sceptre should not depart from 
Judah, until Shiloh should come." Without sup- 
posing that Salmanasar, was influenced by the 
authority of the prophet,'^ if we believe that he as- 
pired to be thought the persdnage, whose appear- 
ance was foretold ; the effect on his conduct would 
be unavoidable : he would respect the throne of 
Judah, as inviolable, while he subverted that of 
Israel, which at the time, was implicated in a con- 
spiracy, with the Syrians, against the royal tribe 
and its kihg.^^ So far, atleast, by his forbear- 
ance, he would evince his respect to the authority, 
of prophecy; and thus strengthen his claims 
to a character, in which every eastern conqueror, 
from Sesac to Vespasian, seems to have been am- 
bitious of appearing ; and by which there is ap- 
Earently sufficient justification, in the name and 
istory of Salmanasar, for believing thi.s monarch 

^^ The notice, vhich even the Hebrew prophets excited a- 
moDg the ethnics may be collected from the attention bestowed 
on Jeremiah by the Babylonians, which is asserted not merely 
by the sacred writer s, but admitted by profane : yid. Jer. 
xxxix. 11. seq. Alex. Polyhist, ap. Eus. Praep. Ev. Lib. I. 
cap. ix. If the Assyrians received the prophecy of Balaam, 
as preserved by the Hebrews : it is difficult to conceive how 
they could have rejected that of Jacob, as he was by descent 
a Mesopotamian, and was quoted by Balaam. 

«^i 2 King. xvi. 6. Is. vii. 1, 2. 

»«« Vid. supr. p, 122. n.w. p. 163. The term Nabo with 
which Naboaasar is compounded, sufficiently niarks the devb- 


But ttere is something iii the particular form of 
year , from which the epoch of this monarch's ac- 
cession is calculated, which appears equally un- 
accountable, unless we have recourse to the same 
principles, for the solution. The Chaldeans not 
less than the Egyptians, possessed a cycle, which 
embraced 1440 years,^ while the Egyptian extend- 

lion of the monarch to the ^od of his forefathers. It was agree- 
able to the spirit of the oriental superstitions, in which the doc- 
trine of transmigration was held, to suppose that the souls of 
former heroes reanimated living persons. Though the Assyrians 
ranked Belus among their departed monarchs, and consider- 
ed Nebo as an expected personage, it was perfectly consbtent 
-with their doctrine to believe, that Belus would reappear, upon 
earth, in the character of Nebo, land even of Sesac and Salma- 
nasar. Under the influence of such opinions, the Pharisees 
conceived that it was Elias who reappeared in the person of 
John the Baptist : John i. 21. and the Sethites conceived the 
antediluvian prophet had appeared in the person of our Lord : 
vid. supr. p. 22. n.^. Independent of his title, derived from 
Nabo, it appears that the prince from whom the Babylonian 
era takes its name, was so far ambitious of placing himself at 
the head of a new order of things, that he engaged in a vain 
attempt to destroy all the annals of his predecessors : vid. Syn- 
cel • uti supr. p. 122. n.^^. Under the deliverer who would 
come at the beginning of the new age, a new order of things 
was expected; vid. infr. p. 159. n. '^. 

'^' The Great Year of the Chaldees and Persians, which 
was also used by the Hebrews, is thus described by Petavius : 
Doctr. Temp. III. xix. p. 297. ** Annus Hebraeorum ante Ex- 
odum " &c. ** The year of the Hebrews, before the Exod, was 
not lunar but equable, and of the same kind as among the Chal- 
dees and Persians ; that is' consisting of 12 months of thirty 
days, with 5 supernumerary days. Thus after 4 years, the be- 
ginning of the year fell back, until after 120 years, when it re- 
trograded 30 days, by intercalating 1 month, they reinstated it 
in its ancient place. This space they called Cheled." I shall* 
complete from Scaliger, who has furnished this statement, on 
the authority of a Patriarch of Antioch, the description of this 
period : Canon. Isagos. Lib. III. p. 252. ** Si cxx anni civi- 
les " &c. " If 120 civil years are one month, 12 of such months, 
which' constitute 1440 years, will be an Annus Maximus,- that 



ed to 1460. And though I am willing to admit, that 
from a people who, like the Chaldeans^ were occa^ 
pied in laying the foundation of their empire a- 
new, some digree of preference was due to the 
longer year, particularly as their ancient monar* 
ehy had lasted for that period; I can scarcely 
think this accidental circumstance sufficient to 
account for the sacrifice which must have been 
made of national and hereditary prejudice, by a 
people jealous of their scientific pre-eminence, in 
rejecting that form of year, which was of native 
invention, for one which was of foreign extraction « 
Powerful however, as their hereditary prejudice 
was, it would easily yield to superstitious credu- 
lity. In proclaiming the appearance of that 
Great Deliverer, whose power would revolution- 
ise the East, the Assyrian prophet had associated 
with the description of his advent, the appearance 
of a star, and had joined in the declaration the 
name of the patriarch Seth. I have already had 
occasion to observe, the Great Year of the Egyp^ 
tians differed from that of the Chaldees, and eve- 
ry eastern nation, in having its beginning deter- 
mined by the rising of a star,*^ to which that peo- 
ple gave the name of Sothis and Seth.^^ As in 
the idea of such a year, the notion was implied, 

isan*ET0{©id. In Virgil, as I tave observed, it h termed 
* magiius saeclorum ordo.*' This form of Great Year differed 
of coarse essentially from the Kgyptian, in which every spe- 
cies of intercalation was neglected* 

a54 Vid. Censorin. uti supr. p. 04. n**»*. Porphyry observes, 
in reference to the Great Year of the Egyptians ; De Antr. 

l^ymph. Na/A^jviflj itavroTi [to»V AlyvTrlioii^ ^ %kf^tui /Stvato^ht 

ytMcrtui xaclci^8<ra, tS? tlq w xfto^^r, ' the rising of Sothfe i» their 
.new-year's day, ruling the nativity of the world.' 

»55 Vid. Hyd. Comment, in tJrug Beigh. p. 50; Who med- 
tioBs Zu^k, sW, S»«T, 2oA5x», as the Egyptian names of Siritw. 


that after having performed its stated revolution, 
it would again open with the revelation from 
heaven of the Divine Person, on whose advent 
the expectations of the East had been immemori- 
ally fixed :^ — what supposition could be more 
natural, than that Balaam intended to mark^ by 
the revolution of that period, the immediate time 
of his advent? Such, as we have authority^ for 
concluding in the particular case of the Magians, 
was the impression which his prophecy made, up- 
on some nations, which if not incorporated with 
the Assyrian empire, lay atleast conterminous to the 
borders of Assyria. The fact being admitted 
that such was the impression made upon the, 
Persians ; the presumption cannot be deemed light, 
that it exerted equal power over the Babylonians ; 
which will sufficiently account for their adopting 
the Egyptian form of year, in forming the Baoylo- 
nian era. 

If the institution of this era, was intended to fix 
an epoch, and devise a method, for determining 
the period of the Great Restitution ; it can be no 
matter of surprise, that the result should have 

356 The patriarch of Aatiocb, quoted supr. p. 157. b. ***. ob- 
serves, in reference to the great epoch of the Persians, after 
describing their years ; — ** Quorum annorum, &c. * Of which 
years, the beginning commences from Gemshid. For it was 
their custom to innovate as often as any Great King arose among 
them, as was the custom of the Romans.' The language of 
VirgiU in th^ Eclogue, referred to in the note just cited, furnishes 
th^ best comment on this subject ; the flattery of that sacred 
pastoral being prepared for the intended nephew of Augustus, 
— ^an expected son of Octavia ; by whose marriage with Antho- 
ny> the peace of the world, as the Romans termed their empire, 
was set on the most permanent basis. The rulers of the West, 
not less than the jE^^st, found among their followers, flatterers 
who hail^ them as the restorers of that golden and peaceful 
age, the return of which was generally expected, throughout 
Asia. vid. supr. p. 140. n.*/^. 


• « 

proved illusory and abortive. Whatever adepts 
its contrivers may be deemed in science ; it is ob- 
vious, that in prophecy, they were but indifferent 
proficients. The era which they instituted, has 
consequently served the purposes of the ancient as- 
tronomers in registering their ecclipses ; and in 
verifying and ascertaining dates, has been occa- 
sionally of use to modern chronologists. But the 
empire of which it professed to measure the dura- 
tion, by an era extending to fourteen hundred and 
sixty years, scarcely outlasted the thirty third year 
from uie time of its institution :^ nor were they 
less greviously deceived in the character of the 
divine person for whose advent they looked,^ 
than in the period of his appearance. Instead of 

^7 With the destruction of Senacherib's army in the year 
33 of the era of Nabonasar, the^ glory of the Assyrian nation 
seems to have set; for Asaraddon, son and successor of that 
prince, is chiefly known as king of the Babylonians : which peo^ 
pie, after that event, took the lead in the politics of Asia. 
Helvicus observes, on the last named prince : Tab. Chron. p. 
54. B. '' Plures in hac dynastia As^y riorum Reges non inve- 
nio. Nee dubium quin progressu temporisi, haec dynastia ab 
altera Babyloniorum absorpta fuerit. Unde quidam hie refe- 
runt Ezech. xxxi. 11." The destruction of .Senacherib's army, 
is attested by profane writeis, as well as sacred : vid. 2 King, 
xix. 35. Beros. ap. Joseph. Antiq. Lib. X. ii. Herodot. Lib. 
II. cxx. The Chaldee historian's account corresponds, in an 
extraordinary degree, with Scripture ; the Greek's, as derived 
from an Egyptian source, is mixed up according to the fabulous 
taste of that people. Herodotus, however, though he appa- 
rently confounds the facts of Senacherib's history, with the hi- 
eroglyphical representation of it; bears implicit testimony to 
that prince's impiety, which was suiScieutly attested in the in- 
scription, engraved on his statue, i*? ifxi t*? o^iofv sva-ipvi Uu. 
His character was strikingly contrasted with that of his father; 
the one having spared Jerusalem, while he subdued the western 
part of his empire ; the other, in an attempt on the Holy City,, 
having lost hb army^ apd eventually his kingdom^ with hia 


d&ting the epoch of the Great Restitution, from 
the accession of their monarch, had they taken up 
the calculation from the time of the subjugation 
of Israel, the result to which they might have 
been led would have been more certain. For 
the period nearly of a Great Year intervened be- 
tween the delivery of Balaam's prophecy and the 
appearance of the Great Deliverer, whose advent 
it predicted. And as the captivity of the Israel- 
ites nnder Salmanasar occurred when one half of 
that period had elapsed ; the division of the Great 
Year by this remarkable occurrence, suggested a 
measure of time, by which the calculation of the 
entire period was greatly facilitated :^ and from 
which it is possible the Magians might have de- 
rived -assistance, in calculating the period of the 

The observations which have been recently 
made, on the period of Nabonasar's accession, as 
chosen by the Chaldeans for the epoch of a Great 
Year, might be extended with very inconsiderable 
modifications to the case of Sesac, from whose 
reign, a like period was apparently dated by the 
Egyptians. The discussion of this subject must 
be, however, reserved for a more suitable oppor- 

•^ In investigating the expectations of a Great Deliverer, 
formed by. the Persians, it will be shewn, that the period of 
1440 years, of which I have already spoken supr. p. 167. n.**'. 
as constituting the Ghaldee and Persian Great Year, occurred 
between the first Sabbatical Year, observed by the Israelites, 
on their settlement under Joshua, in the land of promise, and 
the nativity of our Lord, A. M. 4000. the first year of the 
fifth millenium from the Creation. From what has been al- 
ready stated from Abp. Ussher's chronology, supr. p. 68. n.^*^, 
according to whose calculations, the present statement is made ; 
the captivity and deportation of the Israelites from the promi- 
sed land occurred in the middle of that period, A. M. 3280. in 
the 720th year before the nativity. 




tUQity, Avlien the expectations which this people 
formed of a Great Deliverer will receive a partis 
cular investigation. It will be then rendered ap- 
parent, that while the period of the Great Resti-« 
tution was repwMsented by the Egyptians under 
the symbol of a phenix ; an opinion was propaga^ 
ted by that people, and acquired not a little cre- 
dit in the heathen world, that such a bird had 
appeared, for the first time, in the reign of Sesos«» 
tris ; and bad been seen, for the last, in the reign 
of Tiberius.*^ What adds greater interest, if not 
importance, to this account, for which we are 
indebted to a historian, who yields in reputation 
for gravity and attachment to truth, to none of the 
ancients, is the identity nearly of the year which 
he assigns to the appearance of the phenix, with 
that which succeeded our Lord's resurrection; 
of which change from death to life, it is deserving 
of remark, the primitive christians considered 
that fabulous bird emblematical.*® 

In conformity to the testimony of the historian, 
who has been just cited, and who declares that 
the expectation of a Deliverer, prevailed immem* 

^ Hie words of Tackas, on whose auiharity tkb statement 
is made, are as follows : Annal. VI. xxyiii. *' Paulo Fabio ei 
X. VitelHo Cois. post loogum saeculorum ambitum, avis Pbce- 
nix in iE^yptum yenit, prsebuitque materiam doctissimis 6ne« 
coruin, multa super eo miraculo disserendi:"headds, ** Priores- 
q\ie alites Sesostride primumt post Amaside dominantibos* , • • 
yisffi sunt." With Sesostris, Sesac has been already identified : 
ihe. consulate of Paulus Fabius and L. Vitellius, occurred in the 
twenty first year of the reign of Tiberius ; the year following 
that in which the crttcifixion and resurrection of our Lord too^ 
place, according to the calculation of Scaliger, 

^^ Such was the opinion of the Apostolical Father, St 
Clement, 1 Ep. ad Cor. cap. xxv. who terms it jova^ci^oiw 
0^/xiroy, and deduces from the notions held respecting itj an arr 
gument in favor of the resurrection. 

' OF A GREAT D£LIV£R£R. 163 

orially in the East ;^^ it may be now summarily 
QODcluded that the Assyrians participated in the 
common expectation entertained by the Asiatics. 
And the knowledge which they attained of this 
persK)nage reveals the source from which it des- 
Qended ; the character of the superstition to which 
they weie addicted, the titles and worship which 
they ascribed to their national divinities^, declaring 
their idolatry to have been derived from the par 
triarchal religion.*®^ But from the opinions which 
they entertained of the Divine Personage, to whose 
advent they looked forward, it would be my ob- 
;^eot particularly to prove, that he was expected 
to appear in the character of a Deliverer ; and 
that in the great national revolutions which it 
\ifas believed would precede hi& coming, and in the 
great conrvulsion oi nature, in which the world 
would be destroyed to be again renovated, on him 
aloae they rested their hope of security. 

As this was information which was alone at- 
tainable trough prophecy : through this medium 
it passed to the heathens, as. plainly appears upon 
their own confession. From a prediction of one 
of the patriarchs, the origin of a principal divinity 
of the Assyrians has been deduced ;^' and in that 
prediction, it was declared, that the Personage 
whose honors the national deity had uscirped, 
'^ wovld be the expectation of the nations." Of 
the judgments, from which they hoped to obtain 
deliverance, through the promised Personage, 
their information was derived from sources which 
laid equalf claiiai. tQ inspired authority. Their 
knowledge that the world would be destroyed by 

^^ ¥id. supt. p. 140. n.5*«. 

^^ Coof. supr. p, 10&. seq. p. 120. seq. 

'*« Yid. sii|m:. g. 108 . 

Y 2 


fire, as it had oiice perished by water, they con-' 
fessedly derived from a prediction ascribed to 
their great progenitor Belus;^* whom circuni-' 
stances contribute to identify with Adam, to whom 
a like prophecy has been assigned by the He-, 
brews/** While possessed of greater opportunities 
of knowledge than the Sethites, as standing 
nearer the source of information ; if we suppose 
them equally informed, we cannot conceive them 
ignorant of the prediction of Enoch, which not 
only foretold the advent of the Lord, but his 
coming to judgment.^ And in the prophecy of 
Balaam, sufficient intimations were given of those 
great national revolutions, which would precede 
the appearance of the expected Deliverer,^ to 
account for the peculiar notions whcih they form- 
ed of the decline and mutation of empires. 

But the most secure as well as satisfactory mode 
of inquiry appears to lie in an investigation of 
the terms in which they have expressed them- 
selves upon these subjects. In prosecuting this 
object, the testimony of a different order of docu- 
ments may be taken into the calculation ; which, 
though clearly not entitled to the implicit respect, 
which they once commanded, retain those un- 

3^ Vid. supr. p. 34. n.82. 

^^ Conf. ibid. p. 30. With this statement not only the 
account of Berosus agrees, but of Abydenus the Assyrian 
historian ; in his account of the Deluge, he declares that Cro- 
nus, who was identical with Bel and Adam ; yid. supr. p. 92. 
n. 200, p, 102. n,^^. forewarned Sisithrus, as he terms Jfoah, 
of the coming of the flood of waters ; Ap. Euseb. Ji?r«p. £t. 

ofji^puv i^i. It is observable that he acknowledges another 
Cronus subsequent to the deluge, whom he places after the 
destruction of the tower of Babel, near the time that Nineveh 
was founded by Ninus, the son of Belus ; Euseb. ibid. xiv. 
366 Ibid. p. 29. ^ Vid. supr. p. 08. p. 139. n."^. 



questionable marks of an oriental descent, which 
claims for them a high degree of attention. 

The traditionary remains of several prophecies; 
\srliich were long cnrrent in the East, were pre- 
served in some metrical compositions^ which pas- 
sed under the name of the Sibyls : a term, which, 
however disputable in its derivation, was confes- 
sedly used with the signification of prophetess.^ 
On the origin and authority of these compositions, 
a more convenient opportunity will occur to ex* 
press myself at large ; when I have occasion to 
discuss the subject of the sacred books, which 
were preserved, with a religious veneration by 
the Romans. To justify an appeal to their au- 
thority, on the present occasion, it will not be r 
requisite to offer much more than a single obser- 
vation. As the name Sibyl, according to the 
highest authority, is a term of Chaldaic origin ;^ 
and the most celebrated prophetess of the order is 
expressly referred to Babylonia f^^ and, as much 

•^ Lactant. Div. Instit. Lib. I. vi. " M. Varro, quo nemo 
unquam doctipr, ne apud Gr^cos quidem, oedum apud Latinos, 

in libris renim diTinanim, quos ad C. Caesarem, Pontificem 
Maximum scripsit.. .• Sibyllinos libros ait uon fuisse unius 
Sibylls, sed appellari uno nomine Sibyllinos, qiwd cmnesfcBmU 

. IMS vates SibyUcs sunt a vetenbus nuncupatae.'^ 

3^ Such is the origination ascribed to the term Sibyl by a 
learned orientalist, Hyd. de Relig. Vet. Pers. cap. xxxii. p. 
391. ** A Phoenicibus itaque et Chaldais, in zoadiacalium ani- 
malium seriem inserta est Virginis spicilegee spica erecta, eis 
dicta n^lltt^y seu k^^Utt^, XifivX^^ ; melius rescribendum j:(00vXet : 
sub quo tamen nomine (ut dictnm) totum Virginis signum 
intelligi solebant«...In posterum ergo non Sibylla Cnmana, 
nee Erythraea &c. nostrae aures perstrepant, sed Sibylla caeles- 
tby eaque unica et sola audiatur et consulatur. Hinc inquam 

. SibyUincB fabulcB origoJ* 

'70 The concurrent testimony of Greek and Latin "writers, 
as well Christian as Pagan, attests the oriental origin of the 
principal Sibyl, whom they refer to Babylon; Lactant. uti 
Bupr. p. 15. ^'Etsunt singularum singuli libri; qui quia 8i- 


of the verses which are extant under their name, 
possess unquestionable marks of an oriental orr- 
ginal, they may be legitimately ranked as Chal- 
dean traditions. In the primitive age of the 
Christian Church,^^ when their reputation was at 
the highest, they obviously existed in a purer 
state than they have descended to our tmies. 
As we learn from the references and citationa of 
the writers of that period, they contained, as then 
circulated, the plainest allusions to those suh- 

l^yllae nomine inscribuntar, unnis esse creduntur ; suntque 
confusi, nee discerni, ac suum cuique assignari potest, nisi 
Eiythraeae, qnas et nomen sumn Ternm carnHBi iiiseruit, et 
JBrytkr»am se nMntnatiun iri praekKnita est, cum emet orta jBkr- 
bultmiaJ' Id^ De^ Ira. Dei cap. xxii. " Sibyllas multa» fuisse 
puiriiDi et maxiwi auctores tradiderunt; Graecoruw, Aristo 
Chius et Apollodorus Erytbrseas; nostrorum, Varro et Fenes- 
tella. Hi omnes pracipiuim et nobilem pneter cceterm JSiy- 
thrcBomfmsBe eommemorant.^ To the same purpose, Pausaoiatt 
'^ iiL P^cteis,'^ and Justin Martyr *Mii Paraenesi ad Gentes/' 
delWer themselves ; the former observing, l^ft^tfo-aru ^i Jy^t mctl^q 

Ai9««3JflM\ audi the latter, Tavlhv ^t U ^ln t?^ JBaCvXA/jiof eifntmf^»k 

^^ The SibyUine verses became the subject ot great interest 
:nnA. <9MiQ9it3c^ from the 12fid year before the Christian. er«, 
-tnbm a a^AreJb was iwade for them, througjhout Greece ; after 
the original works^ whieh> had been deposited ia the Capitol^ in 
thi» times of Ib^ Roman monarchy, were consumed vrUb diat 
.liuitding^ At that period ^hey hsuL beeui tvaaslated. and. cif- 
•nJitted ift Gi;eek ; which was then becoming the language not 
«lily of liter^turer and commerce, but o£ g^jaeral inXej^oliise* 
Of the SibyUine feowns> which have beeO' quoted by tbe. Chm- 
iMUt fathers^ a^solil aad iiiumphaiBt defeafie hasu been, given, 
bgp Ae leofrned' Bp* Bevereg^^, Vindic. Can. Apostc^i. xiv. 
Medll^ vindicates them from the ol:^ticjBs. of SiM^ Blondel 
•Bd Saill6^. who formed an absurd opinion,, that they wei;e the 
fitrgeries of the primitive christians ; an opinjon. petiecl%. wor- 
tity». if aotiof tb^ exquisite taste, of the. solid jfidgmeol^ of 
the inswne Jq^it^ Hai<douin ; who. diacoi^ered, vpt mecely in 
the. '^ ViMo,l' but the " Eneid" of Vi^^ the produation of 


jects, wfaich hare been considered, as transmitted^ 
among the Assyrians, and incorporated in their 
national superstitions « In them it accordingly 
appears^ that explicit mention was made of a 
Deluge and Conflagration/^^ of the Revolutions 
which should precede the appearance of the ex- 
pected Deliverer,^^^ of the Resurrection and Judg-^ 
ment,^* and of the final Restitution which would 
be established by his appearance.^^ 

In this diversity of subjects, each of which would 
afford ample matter for discussion,^^ my imme- 
diate purpose confines my attention to the expecr 
tations formed by the Orientalists of a Great De* 
liverer. The justest conception which can be 
acquired on this subject, from the remains of the 
prophecies ascribed to the Sibyls, seems to be. 
attainable from the impression which they made 
upon an ancient writer, by whom the originals 
were viewed and extracted, in a state of compara- 
tive purity. In laying the extracts' which he has 
made from them, before the reader, it seems ne- 
cessary to premise, that the comment with which 
they are attended has imbibed some tincture of 
the author's religious views, who regarded the 
text on which he remarks, with the prepossessions 
natural to a christian. 

While occupied expressly on the subject of the 
testimony, borne by the ethnic prophets, on the 

^< Lactant. de Ita. Dei cap. xxiii. 

w Id. Div. Instit. Lib. VII. xv. 

'74 Id. ibid. XX. xxiii. '''^ Id. ibid. xxiv. 

^^ These subjects, in which the Persians, as will be made 
evident in due time, held the opinions here ascribed to the 
Assyrians, have been discussed with great force of genius and 
variety of learned illustration, by the ingenious author of '' the 
Sacred Theory of the Earth," whose testimony has been al- 
ready adduced, on the universal prevalence of the doctrine of 
a Deluge and Conflagration ; supr. p. 10. 




great consummation which would be eflfected 
•*in the last age;" the writer before us. expresses 
himself, in the following terms, after having stated 
the expectations of a Deliverer, which were pro- 
pagated among the Persians and the Egyptians. 
^'' The Sibyls also shew, tliat it would not be 
otherwise, but that the Son of God would be 
sent from the supreme Father, to deliver the Just 
out of the hands of the impious, and to destroy the 
wicked with the cruel tyrants. For one of them 

" While saints her bulwarks from the foe defend, 
Heav'n shall unfold, and Sion's king descend : 
Whose vengeance ev'n on kings and heroes hurl'd, 
Shan cite to judgment an assembled world.'' 

"Likewise another Sibyl ;" 

'' God from the solar orb a king shall send. 
And bid the wasted world her warfare end." 

" And again another ;" 

^^f the captive he shall free. 

The yoke unbind, the impious law restrain. 

The burden ease, and break th* oppressor's chain." 

*77 Lactant. ibid. cap. xviii. *^ Sibyllae quoque non aliter 
fore ostendunt, quam at Dei filius k summo patre mittatur ; qui 
etjustos liberet de manibus impiorum ; et injustos cnm tyrannis 
sasyientibus deleai ; k quibus una sic tradldit ; 

Ka.) xiy r»( dsoGf y Caa-iT^iVi WifJip^tU iv th'aft 

Item alia Sibylla ; 

Ka« TOT oLie iiX»» irkyu^iM Gfo; /3a<r»X^»y 
O? nroivcLif yaXav votvo'H vo?Jf4.oio kukoTo, 

Et rursus alia : 

•7ifd,iTi^a^ dHAnaq 

A n y 

nr THE 


** The terraqueous globe being thus oppressed, 
when human force shall prove ineffectual to sub- 
due the tyranny of immense power, as the world, 
seized upon by lawless bands, shall succumb ; so 
great will be the calamity, that it will need the 
divine assistance. God therefore moved with the 
ambiguous danger and complaints of the just, will 
immediately send the Deliverer, Then in the dreary 
darkness of midnight, the heavens shall unfold, 
that the light of the descending God may appear^ 
like lightning, to the whole world : which the Si- 
byl has described in these words." 

'* But as he comes, his pathway midnight shrouds. 
While fire, at awful pauses, rends the clouds." 

** This is the night which is celebrated in vigils, 
by us, on account of the advent of our King and 
God ; the occasion of which is twofold, because, 
in it he returned to life, after he suffered, and will 
hereafter receive in it the dominion of the earth. 
Such is the Deliverer, the judge and avenger, the 
king and God, whom we call Christ." 

Oppresso igitur orbe terrae, cum ad destruendam immensarum 
virium tyrannidem humanae opes defecerint ; siqiiidem capto 
mundo cum magnis latronum exercitibus incubabit; divino 
auxilio tanta ilia calamitas indigebit. Commotus igitur Deus 
et periculo ancipiti, et miserandacomploratione justorum, mit- 
tet protinus Liberatorem. Tunc aperietur co&lum medium in- 
tempesta, et tenebrosa nocte ; ut in orbe toto lumen descenden- 
tis Dei tanquam fulgur appareat ; quod Sibylla his versibus 
locuta est : 


HaBC est nox, quae nobis propter adventum regis, ac Dei nostri 
pervigilio celebratur : eujus noctis duplex ratio est, quod in ea 
et vitam turn recepit, cum passus est; et postea orbis t^rae 
regnum recepturus est. Hie est enim Liberator et judex, et 
uitor, et rex, et Deus, quern nos Christum vocamus." 




In the whole of the quotations here extracted 
by an early christian writer, with a view to the il- 
lustration of the subject which engag'es our atten- 
tion : there is but one passage which may not be 
fairly deduced from the induction of inspired au- 
tliorities, to which 1 have traced the prophetical 
knowledgfe of the Orientalists, from the times of 
Adam to those of Balaam. With scarcely ano- 
ther exception, the whole of them may be applied, 
in illustration of the previous inductions, on the 
character of Sesac and Salmanasar. In these 
curious extracts, the expected Deliverer is repre- 
sented, as appearing in the character of a great 
military conqueror, yet affecting those measures 
which were mild and pacific. It is unnecessary 
to insist at large how far the observations hazard- 
ed on the title of the Assyrian monarch and the 
conduct which he pursued, towards the nations of 
Judea and Palestine, derive confirmation from the 
views which are thus given by the Sibyl. But 
on the peculiar rites which the Egyptian con- 
queror established at Babylon, in instituting the 
Sesachean days, an extraordinary light is shed 
by them : as in that festival, tiie slaves were 
freed, for the short period of five days while it 
lasted, from the restraints and degradation of ser- 
vitude, and elevated to an equal rank with their 

An exception from these remarks must be 
made in favor of the second passage cited from 
Lactantius ; which is indeed the most remarkable 
of his citations from the Sibylline books, and 
which, as prieserved by him in Greek, may be K*- 
terally rendered as follows ; 

^' Then Ood, from out the sun, a king shall send. 
And cause dire war in all the world to encL'^ 

Oc A. Vjt ii^^/k * jiL> 2^ i^ 1 I ^ Jk»- X' Ai • J^ I. X 

The doctrine expressed in this distich might be 
traced through Virgil to the Erythraean Sibyl, o^ 
whom it has been already stated, that she wai^ 
remotely descended from Chaldea. But, without 
anticipating a subject, which I shall hereafter find' 
a more suitable opportunity to discuss at large ;, 
we may carry up our inquiries directly to the 
source, and trace tp the Assyrians themselves the 
doctrine, which was very generally received 
throughout the East, and was not without its par- 
tisans, even among Jews and Christians. 

In Q passage, which possesses traditionary 
authority, to which but a small portion of the 
oriental knowledge that has been transmitted 
by antiquity can lay claim, we are informed, ^^ 
th^t ** the Assyrians had not .only made observa- 
tions for 27000 years, but had noted down the 
entire conversions and Restitutions of the seven 
planetary rulers of the world." The termg used 
m this curious fragment are adopted from the 
doctrine maintained respecting the Great Year, 
of which it contains a just description.^^ In cqji- 

S78 Proclus in Timaeum, p. 31. ed Basil. 'Aa-o-u^ioi ^s ^tio-iv 

.*79 The force of these terms and the substance of this doc-, 
trine may be collected ironi the following passages of two wrn 
t^rs who profess an intimate acquaintance with the C bailee 
Astrofogy ; Cicer. de Nat. Deor. II. li. '' Quarum [steltarum] 
ex d'lsparibns motibnibus Magnum Annum m^tb^tnatici nomi- 
paverupt ; qui tam eificitur cnm s^is et Iwub et quinque erran^ 
tium ad eandem inter ^se comppsitionem, confectis omniunl 
spatli^^ est fycta conversio,^' Con f. et Beros. ap. Senee. iu{»r. 
p. 34i n.8*. J. Firmic. Mathera. Lib. III. i. — ** trecentbrum mi7- 
tium annorum Major 'A'oroxalaracrK, hoc est RediiUignttioy per 
hmvpua-ip, aut per KMraxXva-fxcv, spatio periiciatar. ffis autem 
duoibus generilms, *AwoKxlcirotc-i(; ^eri coi^neoit; namque Exusti- 
onerfi pUuvium, hoc est, iK'nrlpaa-iv y.xrxjt\v<rfAo^ sequttttr/nMsi, 
«nim re alia exust-dc res poterant re/iflm/^p." T hi*' writer pro- 

7. 2 

»» / 


formity to the opinions, which were formerly 
ascribed to a learned Chaldean ;^ the Great Res- 
titution of nature is accordingly described in it, as 
depending on the conversions of the planets. 

As conducive, however, to the perfect understand- 
ing of this curious fragment, it remains to be obser- 
ved, that a much more pure and ancient doctrine, 
respecting the Great Restitution, was inculcated 
by the elder Sibyls, who limited the period of the 
great Conversion to four ages, and taught, that by 
it, the Regeneration of the world would be ef- 
fected.*^ We consequently find, that the astrolo- 
gical embellishments which the early doctrine re- 
ceived from the ingenuity of later improvers were 
proscribed, by the writers who have transmitted 
an account of them, as the pure figments of the 
speculative, or the scientific.*®^ Some of those 

fesses to give, in his work, the astrology of the Egyptians and 
Babylonians, which Trismegistus and Anubius taught and 
transmitted to Esculapius, and which was explained by Petos- 
iris and Necepsos. Conf. ib. Lib. II. Praef. p. 15. 

««> Vid. supr. p. 34. n. 8«. 

*8i Schol. Probi Grammat. in Virg. Eclog. iv. " Cumaei] 
Vel a Sibylla, quae Cumana fuit, et post quatuor secula Ila- 
Xiyytvta-Uv jutvram cecinit " &c. Schol. Pompon. Sabin. ibid. 
*' Ergo nunc Virgiiius vel de Cumaea Sibylla/ quae post qtuituor 
secula, futuram dixit Novam Generationem ; vel inteiligit, quod 
melius est, de Hesiodo poeta, cujus pater fuit Dius, natione Cu- 
maeus. Hesiodus autem libris suis quattunr secularum facitmen- 
tionem. Plato dixit, ut meminit M. TuUius in Hortensio,^ntto 
Magno Annot qui est nostrorum xii millium, rursus redire, et crea- 
H omnia a principio, quemadmodumfuerunt. Primum seculum 
fuit aureum, in quo mortales habitabant mixti ccelestibus, et 
omnia libera fuerunt, sine insidiis, sine latrociniis, sine invidia, 
sine homicidiis. Hoc seculum, tanquam iinito Magno Anno, 
scilicet aureum, Virgiiius in tarn felicissimo consulatu Asinii 
Pollionis praedicat redire." 

*^ In conformity to the declaration of Cicero, supr. p. 170. 
n. 379. Firmicus shows that the astronomical refinements of 
the doctrine were pure figments intended for the benefit of 


novelties indeed exhibit, in their meaness and 
puerility, the marks of a recent and spurious ori- 
gin : such was the device, which from the term 
golden, applied to the first happy age, assigned 
correspondent epithets to the succeeding ages of 
silver, brass and iron : and thence proceeded to 
supply with appropriate metals the different pla- 
nets, which presided over the long succession of 
ages,^^ according to the primitive Assyrian tradi- 

the astrolop^ers. In continuation of the passage quoted, supr, 
p. 170. n. ^9. he observes, — " nee ulla re alia ad pristinam 
faciem formamque [exustae res poterant] revocari, nisi admix- 
tiones atque concretus pulvis favillarum omnium genitaiium 
seminum collectam conciperet foecunditatem ; sed ut esset quod 
mathematici in genituris hominum sequerentur exempt um, ideo 
hanc, quasi genituram mundi, divini viriprudenti ratione Jinx- 
eruntJ^ Seneca, as quoted, supr. p. 34. n. ®*. seems, in like 
manner, to give the credit of divising the astrological part of 
the doctrine of a Conflagration and Deluge, to Berosus. 

^^ It is obvious that Servius, when dictating the following 
comment, on * the Pollio,' had Ovid in view, while he remark- 
ed upon Virgil, Schol. in Eel. iv. ** Sibylla, quae Cumana fuit, 
et secula per TnetaUa divisit ; dixit etiam, quis quoquoseculo im- 
peraret, et Solem ultimum, idest decimum, voluit/^ Yet this may 
be tolerated, when compared with the puerilities introduced 
into the primitive doctrine by later triflers. However peremp- 
tory the decision of I. Vossius, who presents us with the follow- 
ing specimen of those innovations ; such, I doubt not, will be 
the convictions of every reflecting reader; De Sibyl. Orac. cap. 
V. ** In versibus, itaque, quae," &c. " In the verses, therefore 
which were formerly ascribed to the Cumean Sibyl, the whole 
age of the world was not distinguished, as in Hesiod and Ovid, 
into four hut into ten parts, which were equally called ages. 
But as it was commonly received, that there were seven pla- 
nets ; attributing to each its proper metal, they feigned abo, 
that there were seven metals." He thus proceeds to the appli- 
cation of the principle : " the first age of the world, according 
to the Sibyl, called golden (prima itaque mundi aetas, apud Si- 
hyWvim dicta aurea), was attributed to the sun; the second, 
called silver, to the moon. The third, denominated from am- 
ber, so far considered a metal, was sacred to Jupiter, and sp 

174 virc Ai>or^vxA^ expectatiokts 

If rejecting those novelties of modern triflers, 
we follow the old Cumean Sibyl's authority, iii 
explanation of the ancient Assyrian doctrine, 
which represented the seven planets as presiding 
over the periodical Restitutions of the world ; they 
afford each other a reciprocal and extraordinary 
confirmatioa. If the whole period assigned to 
their collective reigns is distributed, according 
to their number, into seven portions ;^ it ascribes 
an age amounting nearly to 4000 years to the 

of the others; 00 that iron was assigned to McirSf brass to Venng^ 
tin to Mer^cury, and lead to Saturn/' He pooQludes on the 
ninth ^ge; ** this period being accomplished, atlength the gol- 
den age furrivefs, and then reigns Sol or Apollo." In this very 
soieinn deduction > it will be observed, that the authority of the 
Sibyl 10 cited for the single epithet ' golden ;' and that the 
division of tep is expressly opposed to the testimony of Hesiod ; 
wbosp auUiority on these subjects, I have already shewn> there 
nre good reaspn^ for not rating too lightly : vid. supr. p. 134. 
n. ««. 

^ The pioduct of 4000 years, multiplied by 7, the nipiber 
of th^ pUmet?, amounts to 26000 ; whereas the great period of 
tfo9 piM^il^iy restitutions, ascribed by HijpparchHS t9 the A^ 
&ynans ikmnrnt^ to 27000. But it must be observed, that the 
period is implicitly offered by Hipparchu.s as unexpired ; he 
Neither represents it as being a perfect cycle, nor could the As- 
syrians pretend, liiat in bringing down their calculations to the 
tage in which be wrote, they had reached the great planeta- 
iy t^tujtiop. The account being palpably a gross exaggera- 
,tion, intended (o magnify the gre^ anticjuity of their science; 
it is probable, that they assumed the greatest possible !a- 
4itMde, :iuid thii? representing tbeoi&^tye^ as in the Is^st millennia 
JMfli, gave the «um 27000, ivs the period of t^eir calpMlations 
.«xpfeiaed in r<Nii|d fmpibers. livii^ in the X^fh cmfur^, ,we 
jQilght in like wann^ say, that 18Q0 y^ari^ had exj:^ii;ed from 
&$ epoch of th? nativity, ^t if tl^a catQuIaM<?(^ is eyen 
wa4e by the number whi^h be has je^e^fted; tj^e peri9d of 
527000 y«ars, divided into 4 portions, wUl ascrihe a length ^^f' 
iidontly ne%r 4 i^Lillofinaries to each of the planetary reigns, lof 
which one m|i|A have been necessarily i^iexpired, to justify tt^f 
«UegatiQn of the ^timpny of the Qreejc 'astr9iiq^ier> on 4^ 
^restuit snl|je<M^ 


reign of each ; and thus admirably accords with 
the doctrine of the Sibylline oracles. Or if insti- 
tuting the calculation from the statement of the 
latter, we assign the period of four ages, of 1000 
years each, respectively to the reigns of the pla- 
netary rulers of the world ; the sum of their joint 
reigns will amount to 28000 years, and thus ac- 
cord with the great period of the mundane restitu- 
tions, asserted by the Assyrians. Whatever may 
be thought of this coincidence, it must be atleast 
allowed, that whatever was the term ascribed to 
these mundane conversions ; it was on all sides 
acknowledged, that the world would experience 
a great Restitution ; that the period of this con- 
summation was to be measured by ages of a 
thousand years, the calculation of which depend- 
ed in some manner on the planets ; and that in the 
oldest and highest authorities, the fourth age, or 
mill^animn, was considered as the period of the 
great change, which was termed a Regeneration. 
When it is considered, that tiie best digested sys-^ 
terns of chronology, founded upon a review of me 
succession of events from the time of the creation, 
have fixed the epoch oi our Lord's nativity to the 
beginning of the year 4000 of the world :^ will the 
lassertion be thought too bold, without further ap- 
peal to historical fact,^ that the ethnics, who form-^ 

3^ Iti Ma year the 'epoch of the nativity lias beei^ fixed b^r 
ITssher, Cappel, Sunson &c. after the elaborttte aad successful 
demonstration of its truth, hy the sagacious Kepler^ in his eon* 
troTersy with the disciples of Scaliger. ^nd in his decision^ 
the Jesuit Petavius mtually admits htfliBelf to have been pre-r 
vented from acqutescing, solely by his ifespeot to the authority 
of liis Mollier Church ; vvhich had adopted, in its infallibility^ 
the vidgarera, whidi, AccordiDg to his own admission, advtinoen 
by atleast three years, the time of the nativity. 

^ It is asserted by the patient and laborious Lardner, Col- 


ed such notions, on the nature and period of the 
Great Restitution, had not only formed the expec- 
tation of a Deliverer, but had attained some know- 
ledge of the true time of his advent ? 

By what process this knowledge was acquired, 
is a subject the perfect developement of which, 
must be reserved for a future opportunity. On 
the different conjectures which have been formed 
on this subject, it will be sufficient at present 
merely to observe, that a solution of the difficulty 
has been deduced from a traditional prediction, 
by the Jews, and is supposed to have emanated 
from the prophetical school of Elijah.^ But 
this conjecture seems exposed to the strong ne- 
gative objection, that such a prophecy was un- 
known to the primitive christians ; a solution 

lect of Test, on Christian, p. 69. that *' the expectation of the 
coming of the Messiah, about the time of the appearance of 
Jesus, was universal, and had been so for some while :" he adds, 
ibid, n.* '' Proofs of this together with divers remarks may be 
seen in Credib. P. I. B. i. ch. v. p. 289. &c/' 

^^ Of this prophecy the following account is given by Dr, 
Burnet, Sacr. Theor. B. Til. ch. v. "The Jews have a re- 
markable prophecy, which expresseth both the whole and the 
parts of the W6rlas duration. The world, they say, will stand 
6000 years : 2000 before the Law, 2000 under the Law, and 
2000 under the Messiah. This prophecy they derive from 
Elias: but there were two of the name; Elias theThisbite, and 
Elias the Rabbin or Cabbalist: and it is supposed to belong 
immediately to the last.'' This objection he does not directly 
controvert, but endeavors to invalidate Of, by the counter-sup- 
position, that *' this prophecy might come originally from the 
former Elias, and was preserved in the school of Elias, the 
Rabbin ;'' assigning as a reason, that *' he cannot easily ima- 
gine, that a Doctor that lived two hundred years, or there- 
abouts before Christ, when prophecy had ceased for ages among 
the Jews, should take upon him to dictate a prophecy, unless 
he had been supported by some antecedent cabbalistical 


which is adequate to meet all the difficulties of 
the case^ while it is supported by their positive 
aisiderttons, seems deducible from the nature of 
the sabbatical system,'^ of which the preceding 

SMphecy appears to be nothing more than a de- 
oetion, made by some sagacious Rabbin, hnd 
applied to the principal incidents of the scripture 

My immediate concern is with the systems 
devised by the Assyrians, for estimating the age 
and duration of the world j and in order to render 
aiy ^obable or consistent account of them> it i$ 
li4bC6ssary they should be perfectly comprehend- 

M On the sutrject of tfae tradition ^ whieh divided tb^ age 
of the world by millennfumsy it has been generally, aiid I may 
he allowed to add, superficially observed, by the learned writer 
quoted in the last note: Sact. Theor. B. IV. iii. "Neither 
ctm I beliefs, that those oonstltutions of Moses, that j^roceed 
W mueb tipoB a ^eptmurpf or the mimber seven, and have no 
grottiid or reason in the nature of the thing, for that particular 
number : t camiot easily believe, I say, that they are either 
^cfdental or hiimortotne, without design or signification ; but 
ibat thef are typi<^al, Ot representative of some septenary state, 
tiilit do^ lilost eminedtly deserve and bear that character^ 
Moses in the history of the Creation tnakes six days work and 
then a sabbath; then after six years, he makes a sabbath-year: 
and after a sabbath of years, a year of Jubilee ; Levit. xxv*. 
All these lessser revolutions seem to me to point to the Grand 
iRevolnlibn, the Great Slibbath, or Jubilee, after siat millernia- 
He^l whieh eA k alksWii^fii the type in point of time, so likewise 
M ttiti nkbiatte ai^ ^otft^ti otf it, be/ing a state if rest frem aU 
iaiof, and tfeuile ait4 s^nUude, « st«/te of joy and Irhimph, 
Md ^Stiate of Re»&Miimt irlfetf thiilg^ are to retarn t6 th^tr 
fifi^ceM«BtioW^ ^d pWtit or<ier;^ I shall only, observe, on 
Ml si^jeet, thft<( iti ^tleh a^ HMfimety preeisely might the RabbtB 
Sliieto hate i^atiolie^^ Itf «l«eti» a^ temiiier/ in fact, iihe prmttive 
€%flMia)il8, hav^e expr^ealfy reasottod; aiioiig whom weni maiiy 
yt^s^5^s, whey c^o«td mA hstve beM fgnoyant of a firopheey ^ 
Ettoiy iMKi atfy sudli^ b#^ ttibribed ftf \am by tlie Jews ; psir^ 
ticolarly as it wad belk^ed, l^dtl \m W^d retmH, at tht eiid 
of the world. 

A a 


ed. I have already particularly insisted oh the 
circumstance of their being made dependent in 
some measure on the periods of the planets : the 
concurrent testimony of those writers, who have 
decribed the Great Year, having represented the 
period of its conversion, as depending upon grand 
planetary conjunctions, happening in the same 
point of the heavens, where they had previously 
occurred.^ As the principles by which the an- 
cients calculated the periods of these restitutions, 
have been investigated, by an astronomer of the 
most unbaffled sagacity, who was not only quali- 
fied for the undertaking, by his pre-eminent skill 
in the practical, but by his singular attachment 
to the judicial part of the science ; the difficulties 
which embarrass this part of the subject, may 
be soon made to disappear. He assigns the 
period of 800 years to those grand conjunctions, 
occurring in nearly the same degree of the zo- 
diac ; and having distributed the whole period of 
4000 years, intervening between the Creation and 
*the Nativity, into five portions of 800 years each : 
he not only represents both extremes of the four 
millenniums, as distinguished by great planetary 
conjunctions, but assigns one to the epoch of the 

• 389 To the opinions of the Chaldeans, according to Berosus, 
and of the Romans, according to Cicero, as noticed supr. p. 
34. n. 82. p. 171. n. *79, those of the Greejcs, according to 
Aristotle, may be added, on the testimony of Censorijius ; De 
Die Nat. cap. xviii. '^ Et prseterea Annus, quern Aristoteles 
Maximum, potius quam Magnum appellat, quem solis, Iuiub 
vagarumque quinqm steUarum orbes conficiunt, cum ad idem 
signum, ubi quondam semel fuerunt, una referuntur; cujus 
Anni hyems sununa est xuruK^ivo'fA.oi, quam nostri IHluvionem, 
sestas autem U^v^taa-^q, quod est murtdi incendium. Nam his 
aiternis temporibus, mundus tum exignescere, turn exaquescere 
ridetur/'. Conf. Aristot. de Meteor. Lib. I. xir. 


Deluge.^ It is of little importance to the validity 
of the conclusion which it is my object to esta-^ 
blish^ whether his calculations will bear the nicer 
tests of the art, as applied by its present profes- 
sors : though it may be observed in their favor,> 
that at the close of the eighth cycle from the Cre- 
ation, he observed one such conjunction, of which 
he has given a minute description ; and was at 
considerable pains to verify that, which he assert- 
ed to have taken place, at the Nativity of 
our Lord. It is sufficient to my purpose, that he 
has pointed out the course, which was. pursued 
by the ancient astrologers, and has determined the 
positive results to which they were conducted by 
their calculations ; while he possessed not the 
most distant anticipation of the consequences to 
which they are now pursued. He has thus fur- 
nished a clue, by which we may be guided to 
a tolerably just notion of the views by which they 
were directed, in attributing to the influence of 

390 Vid. Kepler de Stel. Nov. et Trigon. Ign. ed Prag. 1606. 

The following is the result to which the sagacious author b led : 

lb. cap. vii. " Itaque quatuor triplicitates, quibus omnis con- 

tinetur zodiacus, in ducentos annos ductse, periodum creant 

annarum octingentorum, pauIo minus : quo temporis spatio, 

totus zodiacus quadraginta congressibus, in totidem partes paene 

aequales, dividitur ; eoque tempore exacto, redditur ad initium,'* 

Having drawn an illustration, from the grand conjunction, 

which he beheld, at Christmas, in the year 1604, he observes ; 

Ibid./' £x hoc igitur loco,^ comparatione facta cum CBtate Mundi, 

patet successio trigonorum, et repetitio ignei. Cum enim a con- 

ditu rerum nlimerentur anni plus minus 5600 : hi divisi per BOO, 

septem constituunt Magnas Periodos, reditusque ignei trigoni. 

Memorabiie vero est, in ipsos fere periodorum artictdos incidere 

pr<Bcipu€L8 epochas" He adds a small table, in which the 

fijst, third and sixth epochs, are noted as folllows; <' Ante 

Christ. 4000. Adam, Creatio MundV\ . . .'*A.C. 2400. A. M . 

1600. Noah, DiluviuM.'\..." A.M. 4000. Cfcristus Domi- 

nvs, Reformatio Orhis,^^ 

A a 2 


grand conjunctions of the planets^ the deluges and 
conflagrations, by which they declared the world 
would be destroyed, to be again r&iewed. 

In a country like Chaldea^ which possessed a 
climate not subject to sudden variations., tha 
regularity of the effects produced by the vicissi-^ 
tude of the year, was not unnaturally, attributed 
to the influences of the planets ; by which its pe-» 
riods were measured, and on which its regularity 
was supposed in a great measure to depend. As 
the investigation of physical causes was wholly 
neglected, and a superstitious devotion directed 
to the heavenly bodies ; they were regarded as the 
divine authors of the effects wrought, not merely 
on the earth and atmosphere, but on the human 
constitution: the vicissitude of the seasons and 
the fecundity of nature having been attributed, 
to their influence, with no less certainty, than 
the epidemic diseases, to which the inhabitants^ 
were periodically exposeji.'^^ To these causes, 
aided by the natural advantages of a country, cal- 
culated for astronomical observations, in having a 
serene sky, and open horizon ; and improved on by 
that avidity with which the human mind is im- 
pelled, to inquire into the future, and to derive 
prognostications of distant events, from vulgar 
signs and superstitious associations ; judicial as- 
trology is indebted for an original, which may be 
traced to the remotest antiquity.^ 

^^ See CensoriDus, nti supr. p. 94. n. ^m. ^ho implieiUy 
ackno\7ledges, that the period of 12 years, to whieh the Chai« 
deans gave the name of their Great Year, owed its imtitiitioa 
to such causes. 

^^ To such causes, Cicero, who describes the Great Year 
of the astrologers, ati supr. p. 171. n. ^9. virtuaUy attributes 
the Cttltiralion of astronomy by the Ateyrians; De Div^ I. i. 
''Gentem quidemnuyam video" &c. '< I see no nation, nei^ 



From tiiesa principles, it may be easily ef>nclu^ 
Aedy how the Grand GDnjunetion^ of the pla&etis, 
(the knowledge of ^/rineh, if not tr^n^mitt^ W 
tradition^ might be . (tiscovered by oaloulaticm*) 
fronoi being associated with the epochs of tb^ Cfe-* 
aticm and Delage, were nltimately regarded as 
the causes of the periodical changes to which the 
frame of nature was subject. For the influence 
of one of the planetary bodies upon the objects of 
the creation being acknowledged; this influence 
was necessarily conceived to be infinitely encrea^ 
sed, when they acted in concert, from being con* 
gregated in a particular point of the heavens,^ 

ther so (Cultivated a^d learned, nor so fierce and barbarpui^, 
which does not conceive that future things are prognosticated^ 
and their signs may be understood and predicted. In the be- 
ginning, the Assyrians, that tmay deduce wg authorities from 
the remotest antiquitg, on accotmi of the openess aasd mptmt rf 
tke regions which they inhabited^ as th^ heavens were open ana 
unobstructed on all sides, observed the ntiotions and revolutions 
of the stars : having taken notiees of which, they trahsmitted 
accounts of what was prognosticated by them to every one^ 
Ib which nation^ the Ghsddees, who di»ived their oaistf vot 
from their art b«t their country, by the eontinuarobservation of 
the stars, are conceived to have carried their science to such a 
height, that every event which could happen to any one> and 
the fate to which ne was bom, might be predicted.'^ 

'93 Such are the terms in which Kepler describes die influ- 
ence attributed to those conjunctions, which occurred in poilits 
of the Zodiac distant a trine, or 120^' ; where they periodically 
happen : De Stel. Nov. cap. vi. " Satumus enim et Jupiter, 
altissimi planetae, binos proximos congre^sus mmtuoe sic ordinant, 
ut tertia fere Zodiaci parte distent. Qua ratione efficitur ut 
qiiolibet sseculo, tria Zodiaci signa, ab anthoribus sub unum 
Trigonum redacta^, ex Conjunctionibus Superiorum prmcepwam 
vim obtineantf in commovenda (non dico in cogenda) natura re- 
rum sublunarium/' Of these trines the following account is 
given by Stanley, from Ptolemy ; De Orient. Phil. lab. I, 
sect, II. cap. xix. ** Trigona sunt quatuor, primum est Artetb^ 
Leonis et Sagittarii ; secundum Tauri, "^^rginis et Capricomi : 
tertium Geminorum, Librae et Aquarii : quartum Cancri, Scor- 



And as this influence was rendered more intense, 
at particular conjunctures of season, and operated 
in the crisis of nature ; the effect produced upon 
the earth would be a conflagration or: deluge, as 
the conversion took place in summer or winter.^ 
In the Chaldean science, however, the planets 
were supposed to exercise a difierent influence 
over the world, besides that exerted in its des- 
truction and renovation. The term of its exis- 
tence, which was extended to immense periods, 
was divided into lesser intervals, over each of 
which, the different planets were supposed to 
exercise, in their order, a paramount influence. 
The precedence in this succession, belonging to 
the sun, the second place was assigned to the 
moon; the five remaining planets having been 
supposed to reign, in the order, in which we find 
their names applied to the days of the week ; un- 
til the circle returning into itself, the succession 
again commenced, with the reign of the sun.*^ 
As the greater cycles were constructed after the 
model of the less, by taking years, centuries or 
millenniums, for days ;^ a substitution which 

pii et Piscium. A Chaldaeis autem divisum fuisse Zodiacum 
in haec Trigona, ex ratione coUigendi terminos planetarum, a 
Ptolemaeo descripta, satis liquet." 

394 Vid. Beros. ap. Senec, uti supr. p. 34. n.^*. Aristot. ap. 
Censorin. ibid. p. 178. n.*^^. 

395 Vid. supr. p. 173. n. 383, comp. p. 170. 

396 Scaliger has observed, on this subject, with his usual pene- 
tration, Canon. Isagog. III. 243. <' Quemadmodum Quadrien- 
nium iEgyptiacum est dierum 1460, ita Magna Periodus est 
annorum Julianorum 1460. Rursus, quemadmodum Lustrum 
Julianum est dierum 1461, ita Maxima Periodus Canicularis 
est annorum ^gypticorum 1461. Quadriennium autem voca- 
bant cTo; v^XiaKov f^ix^op" &c. . Manetho, as quoted in an old chro- 
nologist, cited by Salmasius, Plin. Exerc. I. 551. mentions an 
Annus Maximus, to which he ascribes 36525 years which has 


was facilitated, and possibly suggested, by the 
equivocal sense of the word day, in the oriental 
languages ;^ it is thus easily conceived how those 

been absurdly taken for the period of the equinoctial preces- 
sion ; it contains precisely as many years as there are days in a 
century, according to the Julian computation. A learned chro* 
Boiogist, whom I have had frequent occasion to quote, follow- 
ing, up a suggestion of two monks, who are cited in Syncellus, 
reduces to moderate lengths the great periods, which are men- 
tioned by the ancients, by substituting days for years. Vign. 
Dissert, de 1' An. Anc. Tn the coincidences which he has 
elicited there is nothing striking ; but for the semblance of 
probability which he has given to his deductions, the artifice of 
the above mentioned substitution will sufficiently account. 

»9T The Hebrew tenn DV signifying a day, is so frequently •^ 
used with the signification of a year, that it may appear super- ' 
fluous, to support it by any authority, or exemplification. But . 
as this idiom may appear unaccountable to those who are un- 
acquainted with that language ; it may not be inexpedient to 
bestow some attention on the subject. The term is explained '. 
by Pagnini, Thes. Ling. Sanct. col. 924. ** DV, est dies tam ar- . 
tificialis, quam naturalis viginti quatuor horarum, Interdum 
enim signi^cat tempus quo sol est super terram.'* lb. col. 926. ^ 
'/ £t plurale.significat dies, et annos ;" To which Mercer adds, 
'* Annum integrum, vel etiam annos; proprie annum singulari- 
ter, tot scilicet dies quot annum efficiunt.'^ One of the most 
striking examples by which this sense is illustrated, occurs in 
£xod. xiii. 10. where, Moses speaking of the Passover, which 
was an annual festival, declares, that it was to be kept, d>d*d • 
HD^o* : ' from days to days.' The literal sense occurs in the 
Greek, a^' f)fAe^u» tU V^F^^* ^^ ^^^ Latin ' a diebus in dies;' to 

which the Samaritan may be added, ^^tOrZ ^Itt^'Km^, 
with the same sense. The Chaldee indeed paraphrases, |DtD 
fDt^ 'from time to time,' or rather 'from term to term;' to 
which the Syriac conforms^ .vV ^ ^o ; which will how- 
ever bear the sense from * year to year ;' which is given in the 

Arabic, ^>^ Jt i^ (^* Of the modern versions, the 
English has < from year to year;' the German, with the same 
sense, ' jahrlich ;' as also the Italian, ' d'afrno in anno ;' and 
the French, ' tous les ans;' but the Spanish, conforming to the 
Hebrew and Latin, ' de dias in dias.' Though the term DV, 

18 preserved in the Syriac |2ca> > CJbaldee t^DV, Arabic m[jS, pi. 



almost iatertninable periods, which were ascribed 
to the planetary conrersions of the universe, were 
imagined : an instance of which has been noticed 
in the term of 27000 years, during which the As- 
syrians pretended they had observed their restitu- 

Were the order which has been followed in na- 
ming the days of the week, that which the planets 
possess in any known or conceivable system of 
the universe ; it would be nugatary to look beyond 
the consid^^tion of that order, for the elementary 
principles, in which these complicated systems 
have originated. It would be then vain to dis- 
pute, that according to that order, the days of the; 
week, had been respectively assigned the names 
of the planets, and had been placed under their 
influence ; and that, by a simple and obvious ana- 
I<^gy> the greater cycles were deduced from the 
less, the week being the model, according to 
which the whole system was framed. It is, hew« 
ever, as indisputable, that the days have been as- 
si^ed their planetaiy names, according to an ar- 
tificial principle, that shall be soon unfolded, whiic^ 
directly betrays itself to be of a compaoratively 
rtiodern date r as it is demonstrable, that after the 
form of the week^ the whole scheme has been 
constructed; having obviously originated in the 
Sabbatical system, which, I bave already offered 
some reasons to prove^ was not wholly unknown to 
the Assyrians.^ 

For the exhibition of titk system in it» most 

0yfi Saiifaritail ^ITfflTr it fleams Indited ia thi^se iMpj^siffHf t# 
the seoMf of ddy: m the Sytie^, heme^et, witk miiktk ^& $$% 
ftiftetpsHy cemeetnei, ^ iBvtsei in S mtmttftf H^sAfm 1q4*« 

tibite, as D1S in the Bebrew. 

"'*^^i*4*(^tfMVMi«i^«K«^Bi>^Mrt*iMiBi^Ma^Mitf**MMVnMiiiiB< ^wi^iK '"-^r a. n _[-i iiir'^-f^B,^^ u-yiLii- 1 — m-m^j'^~—^~mj-i-~mm,jm0mMl~m^utJ-~jinmjmn.n^9mtt^tmm0KHt~ 

pterfdc^t ^*ate, me Miast direct oiir attention ito the 
"MoiSraical <M§peflfe8(ticHa ; which had the -entire 
course of its festivals ordered according to the 
4sabbat4oal s^s^eiA. But the origin aiid character 
of 4:he Assyrian sttperstitions, and the great eiid 
to which my inqpuaries are directed, require that 
i*s descent i^bo'isld be traced to a higher source, 
^*td imfmediatdy deduced irom the patriarchal 
c^ligion. And this ofa^ect :niay be atonce accom- 
plished, Tjy directing our attention to thatipoiiit, 
whiere the connexion between the true and the 
corrupted religion, ^^ 4)een proved to exist : the 
history of the patriarah who declared, in the pro- 
^e*ic spirit >^th wfeichi^e addressed his son Jo- 
*seph ;^ '* the blessings of thy fether have prevail- 
'ed, 'above the blessings of my progjenitors, unto 
the titmoist boun^fe of the everlasting hills." In 
"fieret, *he double servitude ^ich Jacob performed 
under Laban, had all the characters of the Tsabba- 
tioad year. It was a term of seven years labor, 
succeeded by a stecevery of freedom, and a resto- 
ItttSoti to ^ sttfte ^f 'tefiit '4ind rejoicing.^ its des- 
i^errt, 'as coft(»*eived after the form of the week, is 
impllidtiy adtoitted in "the IstngUa^e in which the 
patriarch is ^addressed by 'LabaB. When the first 
f>epiod of his '^vifrude had expired, and was re- 
^coWipetfsed :w<ith <he »h«nd of iaeah^; On his claim- 
Wi§ the ^hmid t)f Rachael also, th'e tejrm of service 
"by whidh it Was to be ^artoed, is denominated 
''a weeic," anci defiti^d as "seven yeairs," in 
the fi^ulated te»ms of her father ;^^ '' fulfiil her 

"«o Sfee^fcefi^. *iilt. le. ^1. 27, ae. Lev, xxv. 2, », 4. D€«t. 
5^. 1, «. ^Bf!]p|. %U|ir. tt. 1&7. 11.38B. 

•♦^^ €^^.*ihE.'>27i. 1*1 tbis -sense the passage is revered with 
^afceiy '^hfy Vftrid^dn in the versions. Of the (itiraBe. . ,W?D 



week^ and we will give thee this also, for the ser- 
vice which thou wilt serve with me, yet seven other 

In fine, the first measure of time, instituted in 
the state of innocence, when applied to. the year, 
•naturally led to the sabbatical cycle ; and intro- 
-duced a progressive principle, which as naturally 
led to the greater cycles. For, as the year, when 
divided into weeks, leaves a supernumerary day, 
above the fifty two weeks, which compose it ; 
this day, being included in the old year, cau- 
ses the beginning of the new to fall upon the 
-following day ; and the same process taking 
•place in each successive year, the beginning of 
the year progressively advances through the days 
' of the week : until after seven years, when it has 
circulated through the seven days, the first day of 
the week and year again coincide, as at the be- 
ginning of the cycle. 

hnn« D»Jtt^ ritt^ nir nm)?Ht^.. which is alone of impoitaiice, 
the following are the principal renderings. The Chaldee, 
rj'jnw \'im vim ni3r....«i KJIiHltt^ D»b»w«, 'complete the 

week of this. . .yet seven other yenrs :' the Samaritan, HT/^Z^ 

;iffril^t V »ai7ri*» va*» ^i:v ,^^^ vts»*, with the 

same sense ; as also the Arabic, «30^ £>{^^ 3>»*^t (jj^l 

jsLS c^jxxMt ^AAM. . .The Syriac^ with a slight variation, reads, 
^^^j ''*^ ^\^ «^x>Z. • . • j>oi> jZoA^:^ >a\»> '' Qomplete 
the feiist of this, &c." which is explained in the context: ibid. 
22. LAa2o fjsL^* * and he made a feast ;^ which words are ap- 
pliea to the marriage feast of Leah. Conformably to the 
Oriental versions, the Greek reads, avylihio-oit hv ra i^^ofAct ravnK 
* . . . ^rt ifrla trn tn^a, ; and the Latin, though more paraphras- 
tic, ' imple hebdomadam dierum hujus copulae. . . .septem annis 
aliis.' The modern versions agree in expressing the sanie sense, 
the Italian rendering the passage, ' fornisci pure la settimana 
di questa. • . .altri sett' anni; the French, * acfa^ve la semaine 
de celle-ci.».sept autres ann^es;' the German, 'halte mit die- 
ser die Wocke aus....nech andere sieben Yahre.:' but the 
Spanish, adhering to the ' Latin, * cumple la semana de dias 
de este. • « .otros siete anos.' 


• • » • 

Though the sabbatism was thus far completed, ^ 
at the close of seven years ; yet the progressive^ 
principle introduced into the year did not thus^ 
comQ to an end ; but led to circles of revolving> 
periods, which were almost interitiinable. From 
the neglect of the intercalation, a period of 1460' 
years was found necessary, to make the beginning 
of the artificial or civil year coincide with that of 
the natural or tropical. ^°^ Yet even then the cy- 
cle was incomplete,*^^ nor would seven times that 
period, though amounting to 10220 years*^* pro- 

^^ This period constitutes the Egyptian Great Year, which. 
has been described, supr. p. 148. n.^^e, p. xo2. n.^ofi. It arises 
on multiplying 365, the number of days in the yfear, by 4, the 
number of the intercalated year ; in it,^of course the sabbatical 
system was wholly neglected. It was accordingly termed, 
from the sun, whose course it measured, the Solar Year; or* 
from the star, by which its beginning was calculated, the Ca- 
nicular Year. Vid. ibid. p. 94. n. so*, p. 158. n. ^54. 

*^5 Dn the subject of the Egyptian Great Year, M. la 
Lande observes, Astronom. Tom. 1. p. 264. § 1605. ** Les an- 
ciens 6toient en erreur dans ce calcul de plus de 36 ans, parce- 
qu' ils ne connoissent point I'ann^e syderale ou astrale, qui devoit 
regler le Cycle Sothiaque; ils croyoient que 1460 annees solai- 
res 6toient ^gales k 1461 ann6es vagues ou civiles : mais comme 
Fannie tropique est moindre que les anciens le croyent, etf 
I'annee syderale plus grande, la periode rCetoit point telle qu' on 
le croyoit ; Vannle civile ne concouroit, au bout de 1460 ans, ni 
avec Vannte tropique, ni avec Vanriee syderaleJ' Which sad 
concession leads to some curious consequences, of which more 
anon. After shewing the relative proportions which the civil, 
tropical and sidereal year bear to each other, he concludes ; Ibid. 
** Ainsi la pMode de 1460 ans, ne ramenoit point au m^me jour 
les levers des 6toiles, qui n'exigeoient que 1425, ni les saisons, 
qui en exigeoient 1508." Whatever may be thought of this 
slight error of merely 83 years in these learned observers' cal- 
culations; it will be atleast admitted, that it would have made 
a moderate. chasm in their lives. 

*°* This period is given, as arising from the multiplication 
either of 1460, by 7 ; or of 365, 4, and 7, into each other"; in 
order to form a product, which, when divided, by any of the 

B b 2 



duce a year but the first, ia which the begin- 
ning of the week, and o£ the civil and tropical year 
would be coincident, so as to produce a perfect 

It may be thus collected, how the ancients 
were led to the conception, of those immense 
periods, which they accounted great years, and 
to which they ascribed various terms of durar 
tion.*^ I am aware, however, it may be objected,^ 
that the septenary principle is not more applicar. 
ble to the sabbatical system, as held by the Par 
triarchs, than to the planetary, as maintained by 
the Assyrians. This point may be readily con- 
ceded. The question is thus brought fairly to an 
issue :*^ and I apprehend, it will not reqjaire 

latter numbers, will leave no remainder, as in the Jnlian period 
of 7980 years. 

^^ Censorinus closes his description of the Great T'ear, with 
an account of several periods of this kind, all of which he makes 
dependant on the terms of the planets ; De Die Nat. xviii. p< 
107. ** Hunc [Annum Maximum] Aristarchus putavit esse 
annorum vertentium duiim [f. decern] millium cccclxxxiv.'' 
&c. After adding the various periods assigned by Orpheus,, 
Linus, Aretes Dyrrachinus, Heraclitus, Dion, Cassandrus, he 
concludes, '* Alii vero infinitum esse, neC unquam in se reveril 
existim^unt/' Plutarch, or the author De Placitis, after 
mentioning the lunar oycle of 18 and 19 years, gives the cal- 
culations of Heraclitus and Diogenes: Flut. It. p. 892. ed, 

Xyland. *H^£txAet7o( ix fxv^iuv oxruMO'^C^iuv h^^koutup. Atoyivnip Ix 

linavroi;' aMoi ^s J*' Iwlouxho^Xkuv -ipo^'. Where it is observable., Di- 
ogenes assigns the Annus Maximus as many years as there were 
days^in the solar year ; as it is remarkable, the period 10000 pre* 
dominates in the various lengths assigned to it in Censorinus» 

^^ Without bringing the question to this issue, it was atonce 
decided by Dr. Spencer, that the priority was due to the pa- 
gan division of the week : and that the Sabbath itself, previous- 
ly to its dedication to God, was consecrated to Saturn : vid. 
supr, p. 132. n. ^99. In a subsequent part of his work he de- 
livers his sentence on this point more decidedly: De Leg^ 
Hebr. Lib. I. iv. § !!• *^ Gentes autem dies hosce feriatos in 



^ ^■■> w i«w— ^ww ^ ii liiM . p i mmtmtmmmmie'ttnmmtm/^mmmimmitt 


mucli time to decide, whether, adopting the as- 
trological- views of the Chaldees, we are to trace 
tbe septenary divisk^ of the week, to natural 
causes ; or receiving the historical aocounts of the 
Hebrews, must refer it to preternatural. 

It has been already intimated, that the name^ 
of the planets, ais given to the days of the week, 
have been applied upon an artificial principle. If 
they be viewed in the regular order, which they 
are assigned, ki the ancient system ascribed to the 
Egyptians, and generally known as the Ptolemaic ; 
or in that which they are assigned, by the Chal- 
deans themselves, in disposing them in their ex- 
altations in the different signs :^ it vrill be evi- 
dent, that they have been applied in a progression 
by fourths. This indeed is expressly asserted by 
the ancients : who have both stated the difficulty 
of accounting for the interruption of their order 
and given its solution. An hour« as they state, ha- 

konorem Deoram, primquam UkmAiem sttbhaticum mstituiaset, 
observasse censeantur. Rationed meas statim in mediBm affe< 
ram, ne sententiam iUam temeritate credula, (fbrsan et profana) 
tueri videar." Harkig exhibited his success, in evading this 
charge, by two quotations from Pythagoras and Apollo, re-* 
ported at second hand, on the ^ith of lamblichus and Porphy-> 
ry, he concludes after his way ; '^ A ratioiie itaque miniine 
dissentit, Deum eliam diem aliqaem sibi consecrarri volitisse, 
quod hsec institutio morons dim recepf^ conveniret, et nihir 
in se haberet, quod nmia svui msolentia rud^mpopulcim'irriCare 
posset. Quin et par erat, ut Deus " Sse. The gross presunip>- 
tibn of which decision: would merit rebuke, did not its extreme 
folly deserve our pity. 

4or Vid. Hyd. de Relig. Vet. Pers. cap. v; p. !», Tfcra 
order differs from the New or Gopemican System, but in put- 
ting the sun in place of the earth, which, in the Egyptian, was 
considered the centre, and at rest; from it, the order of course 
was taken, which accordingly commenced with the Moon, luicl 
was followed by Mercury^ Yenus), the Sun, M ars> Jupiter and 

»fc- .. -Ul i , ■ ip ^mmmmmmmimfmiim 


having been assigned to the reign of each planet/ 
and the name of that one given to the whole day, 
which governed the first hour ; their names were 
thus assigned, in the regular order, to the hours , and 
so fell, as regularly, upon the days of the week, at 
intervals distant a fourth.^ As there is no division 
of the day into hours, but that in which it is distri- 
buted into twenty four, in which this account can 
be verified ; such must have been the division of 
the days, when they were assigned their planetary 

Now as it admits of little controversy, that 
the distribution of the days into twenty four 
hours, was of a late^ introduction; such conse- 
quently must have been the designation of them, 
by the names of the planets.*^ The earliest of 

4^ Dion Cassius, as quoted by Selden de Jur. Nat. p. 430. 
assigns two reasons, for the disposition of the planets by fourths. 
On the first, as deduced from the music of the spheres, I must 
be pardoned for declining to offer any observation ; as I can- 
didly own, I have never heard it. I shall give the second,* 
with the comment of a learned chronqlogist, as he admits, 
it would give the best and most natural solution of the difficul- 
ty, if one objection were removed, of which we shall soon per- 
ceive the value ; Vignolles Chron. II. p. 689. " La seconde 
raison est prise '' &c. '' the second reason is taken from astrolo- 
gy, which was not less cultivated" than music ** by the Egyp- 
tians. It made each of the planets rule an hour ; and the one to 
whose lot the first hour of the day fell, gave its name to the 
day. Take the trouble to count : Saturn having the first hour 
of Saturday, the 26th,. which will be the first of the day follow- 
ing, falls to Sunday, for the Sun : and so of the others. If one 
was assured that the Egyptians divided the day into 24 hours, 
thi3 second reason would be preferable to the first." He how- 
ever rejects it equally with the first; for reasons which are 
specified in the next note. 

. 4^ The learned chronologist, quoted in the last note, having 
a nostrum of his own to propose, finds, in the same objection, a 
reason, not for rejecting the antiquity of the planetary names, 
but the express testimony of the ancient writer, who has given 



the Greeks who have transmitted accounts of the 
Babylonian and Egyptian astrology, prove that 
they were unacquainted with any other division 
of the day, but that which they learned from the 
Babylonians, by whom, they expressly state, it was 
distributed into twelve hours ^^^ Nor is this tes- 

so just an account of their origin. '' Mais c'est," — ^he proceeds, 
in allusion to the division of the day into 24 hours ^ ** but this is 
what we have no proof of." I am curious to be informed, 
where he had his proof of the greater antiquity of the planietary 
names of the days. The earliest writer, that he quotes, as allu- 
ding to them, is. Plutarch. If we may belieye lamblichus, 
they were known to Pythagoras ; but Hesiod it appears was 
equally ignorant of the planetary names of the days, as Hero- 
dotus was of their partition into 24 hours, vid. supr. p. 134. n.^^. 
410 xhis testimony of the Chaldeans, Egyptians and Greeks 
on the division of the day into twelve hours, is thus stated, by 
the learned chronologist, quoted in the last note ; YignoUes ib. 
**^ Cette division rCetoit pas mime connue parmi les > Grecs du 
terns d' Herodote. Suivant cet historien, [II. cix] * les Grecs 
ayoieht appris des Babyloniens les douse parties du jour ; c'est 
k dire les douse heures; comme M. Bochart I'a expliqu^.'' 
paving shewn the probability of this explanation, and exem- 
plified it in the practise of the Chinese and Japanase, he adds 
.this, further testimony; '< Diodore dit [III. xvi. p. 106] dans 
1' historic des Egyptiensy que ' la Mer Rouge a son flux et son 
.reflux, le plus sou vent a 3 heures, et a 9 heures; ce qu'on ne 
■sauroit expliquer, qu'en supposant la division du jour en douse 
heures" The meaning of the term hour, as thus explained by 
a natural phenomenon, is here fixed beyond controversion. It 
may .not be inexpedient to put the same term, as applied to the' 
.Babylonians, equally out of dispute. It is evident from the 
.manner in which the clepsydra was invented by this people, 
that the entire period of the diurnal revolution was divided into 
twelve parts. The invention, as described by Sextus Empiricus 
Xib. V . p. 113. represents them, as measuring the period of a 
;8tar, from rising to rising y by letting water trill from a small 
•perforation in a vessel ; and as then dividing it into twelve 
;portions, by letting which run a second time, the whole circle 
:of circumvolution, was divided inU} twelve parts. Cpnforma- 
•bly to this is the statement of Ephrem, the Syrian, as quoted 
,by Michaelis, from Kirsch, Lex. Syr. p. 372. voc. >oau. e nv>v>. } 
)o9i .AA^I ^.a:^ )^inX$All U^rO }:oGu> cuulA »o)> ' dies et 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^■^■•■•^^••p^ t^m M^M* .V <» . «. .^ - r _rni ■Jj'yi 


timony, which acquaints irs with tfee state of 
Chaldean science, as low atleast as Ibud* hundred 
and forty years before the christian era, less 
consistent tnan it is explicit. While the most an-i 
cient of those writers expressly allude to the dis- 
tribution of the days into weeks ; they are not oji- 
ly silent on the subject of their planetary names, 
but term them in the manner, in which they are 
mentioniBd in the patriarchal history, land were 
long subsequently termed by the Hebrews.*" 
Nor can the silence either of the western or east- 
ern nations, respecting those names, be imputed 
to inadvertence, as they have evinced great curi- 
osity on the subject of the oriental science, 
Ifave accurately described it according to the 
state it had attained in their s^e^ and have res- 
pectively noticed the planetary names irf tlie 
days.*'" ^ 

nox primi diei, xiT koras duravH/ From tke iM3e<niat, i^^lncfa a 
writer, who was of Jewish descent gives of two ancieAteycles 
used by t?ie Hebrews in ascertaining the time of the panover, 
it incontestably appears, that the entire period of ni^t and day 
was divided by tnem also into ttoelte houn. Yid. £piph«i. Ii« 
p. 825. c. 

*" Vid. Hesiod. uti snpr, p. 134. n. ^ Herod, wti snpr, 
n. 4^^. Herodotus^ according to the common suffrage of dtrD>- 
nologists, flourished Olymp. Ixxxiy. in the reign of ArtaKtsrjreg 
the son of Xerxes, B. C. 443. Hesiiod's age cannot be ase^r^ 
tained with equal certainty; Ensebius, after Potrpfayry^ ^dbia 
him to the time of ITzSsiah, king of Jndah, B. C. 800. fibt dan 
he be brought lower. JacoVs marriage into the falfiiljr of Li^ 
ban is placed about the year B. 0. 1758. 

^^^ !Qr. Spencer, in justification of his stftitige hy{MN}i^j^ M 
the planetary named of the dttys, prodticefi the testimony <lf 
P^tnagoras in a prayer preserv^^ by hin biographer IcunbilohiMi; 
Vit< cap. xxyiii. 'A^^odirt} ri '^vffioL^ut rjtfkli}; iti Wh4<$h th6 de- 
nomination of the sixth day from Venus ts syAtftently adMtted ; 
Spenc. de Leg. Beb. 1. iy. § 11. Seidell, in It t«Hil4t <« >(it^1iic4i 
Spencer refers in his context, to ^em that ^ Sak^fcticfft^ traoft^ 
mitted their veneration for tbe same day to the !tI<4iaMMnedaivs , 


With the modern adoption of the division of the 
-days into twenty four hours, the notion of the 
early application of their planetary names must be 
abandoned ; and with those names, the entire plane- 
tary hypothesis, by which the Assyrians pretended 
to measure the duration of the world, must be 
resigned ; as a mere astrological figment, of a com- 
pa.ratively modern date.*^' As in this hypothesis, 
however, the division of the days into weeks is 
necessarily implied ; whatever weight it posses^ 
ses, hence naturally falls^ on the side of the sabba^ 
tical system. For thus evincing the existence of 
a septenary principle, in dividing the days of the 
year, previously to the application of their plane- 
tary denominations : it adds the most striking con- 
firmation, to the testimony of the sacred writings, 
from which, so forcible an example of that system 
has been adduced, from the history of Jacob and 
Laban. Without claiming, however, the benefit 
of an appeal to inspired authority ; the evidence 
of one of the oldest heathen writers is adequate 
to prove its antiquity. Nothing, indeed, can be 
more explicit than the testimony of Hesiod, that 
the institution of the days was preternatural.*^* 

has likewise quoted the testimony of the Habbin Eliezer, on 
the subject of the order of days, as termed from the planets : 
Seld. de Jur, Nat. Ill: p. 423. Pythagoras visited Italy in 
the reign of Servius Tullius, about the time the Sibylline books 
were brought to Rome, by their supposed author ; he flourish- 
ed j Olymp. xlvi. B. C. 490. From which date, I am disposed 
to believe, his Egyptian biographer, who flourished A. D. 322. 
has, in compliment to his national science, gratuitously bestow- 
ed the knowledge of it upon his hero. 
4" Vid. supr. p. 172. n.»«. 

4^4 - *Ai yap i)fjii^»i iio") Aio( vraipat /EAslioEyro?* 

€onf. supr. p. 136; n. ^. 

C C 


^* Devis'd by love, the days his pow'r display ; 
The thirtiotfa, fourth and seventh, a sacred day, 

l^orks and Diiys, v. 760* 

Independent of the venerable antiquity, from 
which this testimony proceeds, it comes recom- 
mended by the internal evidence of circumstantial 
accuracy. Not to dwell on the original which it 
ascribes to the division of the days, in tracing it 
to Jove, and in distinguishing " tne seventh," as 
" the sacred day ;" the preference shewn in it to 
" the fourth," is indicative of the pure and original 
source, from whence the author received his infor- 
mation. The preference by which this day and 
the seventh are distinguished, is inexplicable, on 
the principles of the planetary hypothesis ; for 
Mercury and Saturn, to whom they are dedicated, 
were not distinguished above the other lumi- 
naries, among whom the sun and moon had en- 
grossed a supremacy.*^* But whether the Greek 
poet is supposed to have drawn from sacred or 
profane sources ; the grounds of his preference 
for those days are equally manifest. For, the As- 
syrians had distinguished Bel, and Nebo, to 
whom they are consecrated, above all their na- 
tional divinities ; and the Hebrews had not only set 

*>* Statil. Or. Philos. I. li. xviii. " Prater ea quae ex Di- 
cNloro protul]mus...<ie opinione Ckaldcenmrn, cit€a planetasi 
Seztus Empirictts testatur, eos credidisse, ' rSt iwra iiyua^au rU 
"Waov $^ rify SfXv'itv, ' septem planetanim praBcipuoi este Soiem e| 
Xwiain/ minorem autem his vim habere. ^.quinqiie reliqiioii 
£x quinque aiiis, cum Sole consentire, eidemque opem ferre 
Satumum, Jovem et Mercurium, qyos Tocant if|xt^iy»f, diumos; 
propterea quod Sol, cui fenint auxiliura, tic dmainetur, qua 
gignunhir interdiu. Ex stellis autem, alias esse beneficas, alias 
maleficas. • .maleficas autem Martiset Saiumi, communem Mer- 
cftrii: quoniam cum beneficis sit benefica, ictm makficis nuUe^ 
fioa^ Conf. Sext. Empir. adv. Mathem. p. 114. seq. 




apart ^Vthe i^eventb day," as peculiarly '' sacred," 
but bad distiuguished " the fourth," as cQute^tinf 
with the first, the right of precedence, *^^ Aii< 
this cousideratiou, among others, induces me to 
conclude, that the planets were rather indebted 
to the days for their names, than the days to the 

The early doctrine of the Assyrians, as far as it 
is founded on the successive reigns of the planets, 
whatever be the sense in which they are supposed 
to rule, must be therefore abandoned, as the mere 
figment of the later astrologers. Nor are th^ 
marks of a modern hand less evident in the scien- 
tific embellishments which have been superindu- 
ced on the early tradition of a conflagration and de*- 
luge : iijL which, some interpreters have sought to 
account for the great conversion, on physical prin- 
ciples. The precision with which they have af- 

416 YignoUes, in reference to the denomination of the fourth 
day, from Mercury, observes; Chron. Liv. IV. iv. § 10. p.7l4- 
'^Moi^ nous a appris/' &c. ''Moses has taught us, that oji 
thefaitrth day pf the week, which was the Jirst Wednesday, (le 
premier M^credi, the first dav of Mercury) God made the sun, 
the tnoon and the stars, to rule over the seasons, the days an$ 
the years. Might not the tradition of this event, have bee^ 

i>resedrved among the Egyptians, in whose sciences Moses w^s 
earned ? It is atleast preserved among some ancient Jew^, 
* For,' says, Selden ' ther« are «ome among them, who seeking 
ithe order of the days, from the beginninff of all things, assign 
the first day to Mercury J He cites on this subject, the Rab- 
bin Eliezer, who arranges the days of the week, in two max^ • 
ners, « • ,of which, owe commences with Wednesday, and the o- 
ther with Sunday. ** Conf. Seld. de Jur. Nat. III. xxiii. p. 423. 
^^'f Such virtually appears to have been the opinion of the 
learned chronologist quoted in the last note ; who remarks of 
the Egyptian Hermes; Chron. ibid. * Ce fat peut-^tre, on par 
son orare, ou en son honneur, qu'on donna son nom au Mois, 
qui devoit commenjer Tannic : et au jour de la plan6te, qui 
commence Tancien oycle,^ He might have added, gave his 
oame to the planet itself: vid. supr. p. 92. n. -^^ 

c c 2 


fected to determine the period of the change, 
from the occurrence of a grand conjunction, at 
the time of the solstices, in Cancer and Capri- 
corn,*^ directly betrays the conceit to be of a 
comparatively recent'date. The rudest calculation, 
founded on tne rate of the equinoctial precession, 
is sufficient to expose the absurdity of referring 
the doctrine, with any such modification, to Be- 
lus ; as leading to an anachronism of nearly one 
thousand years.*^^ And on comparing the age 
of the sophisticator, by whom it has been thus 
embellished, with the place of the solstices, at 

*^8 Vid. supr. p. 34. n. 8*. Berosus, having mentioned the 
grand conjunction of the Stars in Cancer and Capricorn , as the 
causes of the deluge and conflagration ; further adds, on the au- 
thority of Seneca ; '^ Illic scistitium, hie bruma confidiur, 
Magnae potentiae signa, quando in ipta mviatimie anni momen- 
ta sunt. Conf. supr. p. 178. n. ^89. 

^^0 It clearly appears, that the Chaldees divided the Zodiac 
into twelve equal signs, which they calculated from the star 
marked Aries y ; without regarding the form or extent of the 
constellations. Conf. Stanl. et Petav. uti infr. And it is e- 
qually evident, from the doctrine which they held on the ex- 
altation of the planets, that the great epoch of their astrology 
coincided with the time when the equinox occurred in the 8th 
degree of the sign. Vid. Stanl. Or. Phil. I. il. xix. This 
* epoch, however, is found, from the rate of the equinoctial pre- 
cession, to be coincident with that of Nabonasar, B. C 747. 
Vid. Petav. Uranolog. Var. Dis. II. iv. p. 78. As it appears 
however, that they placed the exaltation of the sun in the 15^ 
of Aries; and as the occurrence of the equinox, in this point, 
coincides with a remarkable epoch, B. C. 1263; Vid. Stanl. 
et Petav. ibid, it may be conceived, that Berosus is entitled to 
the benefit of any advantage accruing from the latter date : as 
the solstitial, point at^that time, had entered the sign Cancer, 
From what has been observed, on the foundation of the Assy- 
rian empire under Belus, supr. p. 149. n.*'^. atleast 1460 years 
before the era of Nabonasar B. C. 747. it is manifest that mo- 
narch cannot be brought lower than B. C.2207. nearly 1000 
ytars before the solstitehsid taken place in^the 15^ of Cancer, and 
long before the summer had occurred, with the sun in that sign. 



the time when he wrote ; his comment on Belus 
bears internal marks of being deduced from the 
state of science at the time of its author.*^*^ . 

The false light with which this subject has been 
invested, having dispersed, we are now enabled 
to behold it, in its native colors. Those aatrolo- 
gical refinements, with which the Assyrians en- 
cumbered the primitive doctrine of the mundane res- 
titution, must be consequently abandoned ; as the 
essays of a spurious science/ to explain the cau- 
ses, and determine the period, of the great conver- 
sion of nature, by tracing it to natural principles. 
The early tradition, on this subject, thus divested 
of later corruptions, atonce resolves itself into 
the doctrine, which we discover, pure and unmix- 
ed, in the works of Hesiod and the elder Sibyls."**^ 
As the seven planetary reigns prove to be nothing 
more, than the expansion of the first principle of 
an astrological theory, which, from assigning the 
planets the government of hours, proceeded from 
hours to days, from days to years, and from years 
to interminable ages :*^* they thus necessarily re- 

^^ BercMNiSy aai^ipeaKS from the statement of Abydeuus, 
flourished in the reign of Alexander the Great, B. C. 325 : 
about 421 years after the era of Nabonasar ; and 205 before 
the solstitial point had receded from Cancer, into the antece- 
dent sign ; if Kiccioli has accurately defined their respective 
limits ; yid. Almag. Lib. VI. iii. 402. 

*«i Vid. gupr. p. 172. n.^. 

4£2 With the aid of the observations, already made, supr. p. 
172. n. ^5. p. 190. n. ^^. the following exposition, extracted 
from an ancient astrologer, and describing the domination of 
** the planetary rulers,'' will be easily understood. Salmas. de 
Ann. Climact. p. 28Q. '' Idem Yalens eodem capite Planetam 
qui fuerit dondnuB anni ortus CaniculcB, xot^o?nKov anni illitts sta- 
tuit oUo3i(rworyi9 dicit quia annus JElgyptiis ab ortu Caniculae 
incipiebat. Ideo totius primi anni xj^oyox^aropiocv ilia stella tene- 
bat, et quidem xa^oX»x^y, quce mitium anni accipiebat, et domina 
erit sideris a quo annus exordium sumeret, Idem alio loco, 

^ ****• 


duce themselves into the more ancient and gene* 
ral doctrine of a planetary reign for four ages,^ 
which^ if it did not owe its origini was indebted 
for its preservation, to a knowledge of the periods 
of the Grand Conjunctions.*^ Nor is the deduc-^ 
tion from the same principles difficult, which will 
adequately explain, when those reigns are re* 
duced to one, or conceived to be restored after 
a succession of revolutionsi how the Sun, from 
having obtained dominion over the first day of the 
week> was considered the supreme ruler, at the 
Great Restitution of the world.*^ The Sibylline 

anm Dominus a quo annua incipi^Hit^ ca&teri planets quibus 
lueDses aut dies dividebantur xvkX^xoI r«<varr xupto* Tooabanlnr. 
Idem de I>omioo ortus Caaiculse Plaaela, urvf xodoxm*; ri <Wf 
i%am^% H^iQ%7a%^ xvxXtxJ Si oi run rowuv xvfmn Hoc td^m ^ 
ia WAJoribuA tu» kq^oXixuv ^omt divisionibus observabani, ut qui 
primum initium annarum, in temporis dominio, acceperat, dice^ 
retur afirvii, et xt^fon^afl*/^ xa^Xtxof, ce&teri qui dtvistmiet efu»- 
dent temparit ob eo accipiebmit xvx^uieot vooareatur, Adjiek 
ibidem in omni genesi et antigenesi xaSo^txov esse rov rov irsi 
K^f 109, KvxSixif rero qui pleailuBiorum et synodoruni est domi- 


^ Vid. supr. p. 172. b.»». ^ Vid. ibid. p. 81. et aale. 

^^ Of the astroloncal dogmas on this subject, the following 
account is given by me writer, already qnoteid : 8almas, ibid. p. 
285. '*' Sol et Luna quodammodo suat xoSoxW x?*'**i^^e*t ^^ 
afsrcn respectu eorum quibus tempora diyiduat. £t ipse Vaiens 
ita plane sensit, in tractatu tn^) inatfhtt xf^fMil^r^Mv, ubi dtcit, 

u^oanS^H inK^oixKnv rsf tviAvrtff. Quod est inteiligendum de 
a^/cr«( iyiat/Ia;yy ut ipse titnlus' capitis indicat £t prseterea alio 
loco seripsit, t<x( a^ia-ttq rctfv wietvlSy a Sole, LvUka et Horoscopo 
esse maxims efficientias. A»«x|9«xxi»y autem hmvr^ idem est, 
ut antea docuimus, quod exviFdium emnorum sumere, et «^Vf i( 
tHctvruv motua-Bcti, Pro eo etiam die^bant et xf^^^f oM«urda», 
ut Yalens, et Ina^hq mtua^^^, Hi Ptoiemteus ; M iu «f)' 14^ 



Coracles, indeed, ta which a higher an4 purer ori- 

«^f r»x8 Toy syiavr^v 'OronTo'^eu* £tiain ^t^ova» i yiavroy, boc dice- 

bant, cii»h My hiofAttoi metvro^f id est &^iQi fnctulou quae tnt^ttcm 
a iSb/e ficcipit. Nam a^e ^k pro spatio temparis qfiOGunqiie usur - 
patur, ut supra docuimus." In reply to a pernicious error of 
Scaliger, Salmasius thus eitplains the term ufsrfu : Ibid. p. 383. 

*' Sed Arabes Astrologi Grascorum u^Brnv, non verterunt ^jAx, 

vel ^^9 sed ^)^-^- ISTec nomen id est Arabicum, ut jam 

notayimusy sed Persicum, vel etiam Indicum, ut alii etiam no- 

tarunty ^fXx^ etiam yocariy ex Lezico Persico Turcico^ et \joA 

^_^^^* id est Dominum domus, exponi mihi significaTitclaris- 

oimus et celeberrimus vir. Jacobus Golius. Inde et ab Aral»- 

bus passim hoc nomen esse usitatum ^^^^ pro i-^juxll u^» 

id est Dominadis, ut dixerunt Latini veteres. Familiare quippe 

est Arabibus k Persicum in ^ mutare« Sed et ipsi Persm ut 

multas Arabicas voces usurparant, non dubitarunt ita scriberei 

£rgo Hyleg est ^^^^ : liestDominus. Quod nullam kahetdc 

noHane naminis affinitatem cum Gf«co afirviu sed habet cum 
voce imtK^arirof^, Sic enim absolute rh» a^im* ;i^yoNp»rop» 
Greeci appellarunt^ ut videantur ex Arahico vel Persico ita ver- 
tiascy et pr^Beiplle receiUiareg^ , • .Quod ad Alchocoden attinet, 
qoid boo nomen significet, cum etvitiose etiam scribatur, valide 
nesciont nostri astrologi^ ideo et disputant quid sit, nee sese 

extricant. Persicum et hoc est vocabulum t«Xa^ «X^ Cad- 

ckoda : quod etiam Dominus damns significat. ttX^l enim do- 

fninus; itnde et Deum Ux^;. vocarunt^ quasi Dominuwi ommum ; 

«X^ autem domus est Persice, ut me idem docuit vir doctissi- 
mus Golius. Quod ad nominis proprietatem attinet, idem sig- 
nificat Cadchoda et Hyleg, cum utraque vox dominum domus 
designet, hoc est QlH.oha''morinf. Sed major dominus Cadchoda 
quam Hyleg. Nam et eum cui praefectura pagi totius est de- 

mandata hodieque Persae vocant )«Xa^ <.X^, cum unius domus 

dominum ^^^^ significat. Ita major Ccidchoda, quam Hyleg ^ 

tilxo^taieorn^ tqc yinaita^, quam ivsic^arirwp, vel %poyoxparftr^. Tale 

inter hos discrimen est, teste Porphyrio, quale est inter 9»vxXii^v 
et avfft^nrif* Geniturse Dominus hoc est Cadchoda totius geni- 
Aurae possidet summam, et ui^iversam spatii ejus substantiam. 


gin must be ascribed/ and in which it was main- 

That GoA from out the sun a king would send. 
And cause dire war in all the world to end : 

exhibit the doctrine, with the modification, which 
it received, from a branch of the Assyrian popula- 
tion, who possessed the advantages of a later and 
fuller revelation, than that by which the patriarch- 
al age was enlightened.**'^ My immediate concern, 
however, is with the peculiar views of the native 
Assyrians. The notions which they formed of the 
author of the mundane restitution, differed but ac- 
cidentally from those which were inculcated by 

At ChroDocrator, sive smiKpctrilc^^, particulam temporis vitae et 
laciniam gubernat, et res quisque certas casusque speciales ; at 
lalius nuptias curat, alius parentes, alius facultates, alius actioaes 
et sic de aliis.' 

*«« Vid. supr. p. 170. conf. p. 168. 

^^ I. Vossius, remarking on "the Pollio" of Virgil, ex- 
presses himself with no less justness, than appositeness to the 
present occasion ; De Sibyl. Orac. cap. v. " Jam nova progenies 
cceh dimittitur alto.' Ita haec sunt interpreiata, ac si e throno 
Dei, id est ex sole proditurus esset Christus. Haec nempe vetus 
Judseorum opinio profluzit ex eo quod in Psalmis legitur; 
.' In sole posuit tabemacuJum suumJ' After quoting the Si- 
bylline verses now before us, he adds, '* Sic quoque complu- 
res olim sensisse Gnosticos, coUigo ex Theodoti excerptis, apud 

Clem.Alexandr. '£v ru 'HXiut^tro ra cntiw^ etvTH' ivioi^f^. Sp 

<rojf4.a. Si y^ytiQi9, ol /xsv to o'lcnvoi »vTd, ol ^l rrjp tup m^r^v 'ExxXqa/ai'. 
Nec dubitandum quin Hermogenes et Gnostici opinionem istam, 
de statione Christi et Christianorum in sole, e Sibylinis oraculis 
ad suam transtulerint sectam. Non solos autem Gnosticos, sed 
et complures etiam Judaeos, et prascipue Essenos, eorumque 
progeniem Sampsaos, iS!o/em, tanquam Dei stationem, coluisse, 
satis docet mos JSssenorum, antiquius scrobem effodientium, at 
eundum postea replentium, si quando alyum esseut egesturi, ne 
lucem et radios Dei e sole progredientes inquinarent, u^ fjA ra; 
Avyai i/^pt^onv rod ©cot;. Nugas agunt qui verba Josephi, v^l 
corrigere; vel aliter interpretari conantur." 



the Sibylline oracles ; both referring it to the god, 
or genius, whom they considered regent of the 
sun ; and conceiving that with his restauration the 
age would be once more renewed which they 
termed golden and Saturnian. In the corruptipns 
introduced into the hereditary faith of the Assy- 
rians, through the innovations of native science, or 
the fictions of foreign mythology, it is impossible 
to trace, even to a probable x)riginal, many of their 
superstitious errors.*^ It is, however, sufficient 
to be assured, that, for some mysterious reason, 
wliich they were unwilling or unable to . unfold, 
Belus was considered identical with the great 
plaaetary Ruler,*^^ who presided at the regenera- 

*^ Tbe high authority, however, from whence the following 
observation is derived, on the confusion of Belus or Baal with 
Sol or Apollo, renders it deserving of attention : Seld. de Dis. 
Syr. II. c. 219. '* Atque cum Saturnus, Jupiter, Coelus, 
Uranus, ita fabulis sint confusi, ut nee ipse Pkcebus eos, aut 
ab Us ipsum se queat satis distinguere, numerosaque ilia Divi^m 
turba sid ApoUinis sive Solis numen a mythologis reducatur : haut 
amplius sane adeo haesitandum est, quin ex uno Belo,,Baale^ 
seu nTove, (sub quibus vocibus a veri Dei cultu deficientes Solent 
imprimis adorabant), ad morem priscorum ridiculum invocato, 
innumeri tituli fucrint propagati. Coacervatis enim elogiis, 
titulisque congestis capi Numen' putabant, maximoque affici 
inde honore : ita ut tandem quae diversa solummodo nomina 
superstition is primordio fuerant, grassante errore, diversa numi- 
na haberentur, qua de re nos plura in Prolegomenis.'' Conf. 
Cleric, ind. in StanL Or. Phil. voc. * Belus,' et * Sol.' 

^^ Servius in ^neid. I. 729. '* Assyrios constat Satumum 
(quern eundem et Soiem dictmt).,,Qo\uisse. Unde et lingua 
JPunica Bal Deus dicitur. Apud Assyrios autem Bel dicitur, 
quadam sacrorum ratione, et Saturnus et Sol," . It appears from 
the following testimony that Servius was well acquainted with 
the nature of the Great Year: Id. ibid. 1. 273. *' Tria sunt 
genera annorum ; ant enim Lunaris annus est, 30 dierum ; aut 
Solstitialis 12mensLum; aut secundum TuHium, Magnus, qui 
tenet duodecim millia liv. annos, ut in Hortensio : ' Horum 
annorum, qnos in Fastis habemus, Magnus duodecim millFa 
nuingentos quinquaginta quatuor amplectitur." Conf. in Mn, 
III. 284. 

D d 


tion of the world. With this clue, the intricacies 
of the labyrinth may be easily explored. 

In the history of him, whom the Assyrians ac- 
knowledged as their great progenitor, and to 
whom the name of Baal, in the original and pro- 
per sense of the term, was pre-eminently appfica- 
ble, as he was the Father of the family^ of all 
mankind ; in the history of Adam, in fact, the 
fiction finds a direct and adequate explanation. 
For under our common parent, the Fall had taken 
place ; and to him was given the intimation of a 
Recovery. But as the nature of the restitution 
was " a mystery, which was hid from ages and 
generations ;"the Assyrians, having engaged in the 
vain attempt to ascertain it, and having been de- 
termined, in their research after it, by the peculiar 
tendency of their science, naturally fell into the 
notion of an identical restitution ; in which the 
same persons would be introduced into the scene, 
and the same incidents be repeated, which had 
occurred in the first age of the world. In the 
very nature of the Great Year, by which they 
professed to calculate the period of this change, 
the notion of a restitution was implied;**^ on 

4«9 Vid supr. p. 103. 

**> Vid. supi*. p. 147. n.^ Such as we have seen, in the 
case of the Chaldee term of 12 years, was the notion implied 
in more limited periods, to which the name of a Great Year was 
given ; vid. supr. p. 94. n.^^. Even to the shortest term to 
which the name was applied, the same observation is applica- 
ble : Flin. Nat. Hist II. xlvii. '' Omnium quidem si libeat 
observare, minimos ambitus, redire easdem vices, quadriennio 
exacto, Eudozus putat, non ventorum modo, verum et reliqua^ 
rum tempestatum, et est principium lustri ejus semper interca- 
lari uno die, caniculae ortu.'' In honor of Eudozus, it is to be 
observed, that he was one of the earliest of the astronomers, 
who conceived a just estimate of the Chaldean astrology; 
Cicer. de Div. II Ixxzviiii. '* Ad Chaldaorum nunuira venia- 
mus : de quibus Eudozus, Platonis auditor, in astrologia, judi- 



such a notion, as a i&rst principle, the Chaldee 
Astrology was founded ; which was cultivated as a 
science, that professed to ascertain the course of 
future events, from a knowledge of previous oc- 
currences ; the whole tenor of which, as deter- 
mined by the influence of the planets, might be 
divined, from an observance of their revolutions 
and periods.*^^ Such being the instrument which 
this people applied to ascertain the nature and 
determine the period of the Great Restitution ; it 
can be little matter of surprise, that a contempla- 
tion of the uniform motions and periods of those 
luminaries, which they believed to be the causes 
of the regular returns of the seasons, and constitu- 
ted the rulers of human characters actions and 
events,*^^ should have led them into the notion of 
an identical restitution; the period of which 

cio doctissimonim bominum, facile princeps, sic oppinatur, id 
quod scriptum reliquit, * Chaldaeis, in praedictione. et in notn- 
tione cujusque vits, ex natali die, minime esse credendum." 

**^ Vid. Cicer. uti sup. p. 180. n.*9«. Stanl. ubi supr. T. ir. 
xrii. '' Astronomi [Cbaldaici] actiones nostras et vitam pende- 
re ex stellis, cum erraticis, turn fixis, humanumque genus multi- 
pHci earum cursu regi putabant : * Chaldaei dicunt, ait idem 
scripior, [Sext. Empir. adv. Matbem. Lib. V. init.] septeai 
Stellas (planetas) habere rationem causamm agentium in unum- 
quodque eorum, qtUB in vita accidunt; adjuvare autem partes 
zodiaci.' Existimabant eas esse causas boni et mali, prout bora 
natali dispositse erant, atque ex contemphttione earum naturce, 
futura hMMnibus posse pradiei." 

^'' Cicer. uti supr. II. Ixxxix. ^' Cum autem io earn ipsam 
partem orbis [errantia sidera] venerint, in qua sit ortus ejus qui 
nascitur; aut in earn quaB co.ijunctum aliquid habeat, aut con- 
sentiens ; ea triangula iili et quadrata nominant.. . Etenim cum 
tempore anni, tempestrntumque tntli cmwersiones, commutaiiones- 
que taMtmfianl accessu stellarum, et recessu, cumque ea vi soils 
efficiantur quae videmus; non verisimile solum, sed etiam verum 
essecensent, perinde Qtcunque temperatus sit aer, ita pueros 
orientes animari, atque formari, ex eoque ingenia, mores, ani- 
mum, corpus, actionem vita, casus cujusque, evenfusque Jingi.^' 

Dd 2 


might be determined, as the motions on which it 
depended were to be ascertained, by scientific 

In forming this arbitrary notion of the return of 
the first happy age, under their great progenitor ; 
though it appears, that they erred as grievously, 
respecting the nature of the restitution, as the 
character of the personage, under whom it would 
be effected : it is not less certain, that they form- 
ed thp expectation of a Great Deliverer, and had 
attained some knowledge of the time of his ad- 
vent. Nor does it appear easy • to assign any 
plausible reason, for the bride that was prepared, 
and the nuptial bed which was decked, at the top 
of the great temple of Belus, in Babylon ;*^^ if, in 
so extraordinary a custom, no allusion were pre- 
served to the promise which was given of a Deli- 
verer, through the seed of the woman. , And the 
confirmation appears not slight, which this con- 
jecture derives, from the obvious allusion to the 
account of Adam and the Serpent, retained in the 
worship ascribed to Bel and the Dragon ;*^ the 
apocryphal account of which, however inadequate 
it may be found to answer the demands of a high- 
er theology, realises every expectation, that may 
be formed of the oriental mythology. Among the 
traditions preserved by this ancient people, it 
must be superfluous further to insist on the know- 
ledge, which they retained of the Conflagration 
and Deluge, and that the periods in which nature 
was subject to these great convulsions, was dis- 
tinguished by Grand Conjunctions of the pla- 

«s Vid. Herodot. T. clxxxi. Conf. Stanl. Or. Phil. I. ii. 
xxxii. Seld. de Dts Syr. II. i. p. 199. 
*^* Vid. Seld. ubi supr» II. xvii. 


I shall now venture to conclude, that the Chal- 
dean science, when viewed in a proper light, is so 
far from creating any objection to the conclusion, 
which it is my object to establish, that it may be 
legitimately urged in its support. Nor is this in- 
ference in the least affected, by the extravagant 
antiquity which the Assyrians claimed for their 
astrology, and pretended to support by early as- 
tronomical observations. The result to which 
every competent inquirer into the subject is now 
led by investigation, puts a negative on these 
pretences ; and leads to the conviction, that astro- 
nomy was not cultivated, by the Chaldees, as a 
science, until a comparatively modern period.*^* 
They were indeed early observers, but very recent 
astronomers.*^^ Their science, to judge of it by 

*** La Lande^Astron. Li v. II. § 244. *' Ptolem^e dans son 
Almageste, le plus ancien ouvrage que nous ayons, emploie 
trois Eclipses de la lune dont la premiere avoit ^t6 observee k 
Babylone, 720 ans avant notre ^re. II paroit done, que c^e$t 
vers cette date qu'il faut placer les plus anciennes observations 
qu' eussent merits d'etre conservees ; tout ce que avoit pr^c6d6 
n'6toit qu^un commencement grassier de connoissances astronomi- 
ques : il se reduisoit k I'obserration du Zodiaque, des terns du 
lever etdu coucher h^liaque des constellations, et du r^tour des 
places de la lune ; il n'y a point d' apparance que la periode 
de 19 ans, 10 jours, qui ramene ^-peu-pr^s les Eclipses dans la 
m^me ordre ait ^te conpue de ces premiers Caldeens, quoique 
on Fait appellee periode Caldaique." Comp. Yince s Compl. 
Astron. Vol. II. § 1262. Flamsteed Hist. Ccelest. Vol. III. 
Proleg. p. 7. 

^3^ La Lande ibid. § 245. *' Parmi les Caldeens Jupiter, 
Belus passoit pour avoir €t€ le principal inventeur de 1' astro- 
nomic, en m^me temps qu'il avoit et^ le fondateur de Babylone, 
(Plin. VI. zw.) L' epoque de B^lus, est plac^e k Tan 1320 
avant notre 6re. • • .Le temple de Jupiter B^lus, que Semiramis 
avoit fait bitir ^Babylone renfermoit une tour immense*,.. 
Diodore de Sicile ditqu'on convient que ce temple ^toit d'une 
bauteur excessive, et que les.Cald^ns y avoient parfaitement 
observe les levers et les couchers des astres. II est done vrai, 


its internal evidence, can found no just preten- 
sions to an antiquity, which long precedes the era 
of Nabonasar : which there are strong conclusive 
grounds, for supposing the proper epoch from 
which their astrology should be dated .*^ Pre- 
viously to the observation of some eclipses at Ba- 
bylon, of which the Greeks have transmitted an 
account, there is no adequate authority for impu- 
ting to them a knowledge of the very rudiments 
of astronomy; and by a singular coincidence 
which confirms the preceding observation on the 
true epoch of their science, these eclipses are 
assigned a date, near the commencement of that ce- 
lebrated era.*'® Influenced by these considerations, 
and certain coincidences of time and circumstance, 
a great practical astronomer has not only dated 
the commencement of the Chaldean astronomy 
from the time of the captivity ; but has ascribed 
its origin to the knowledge which the Jewish cap- 

que plus de 800 ans avant i'^re chr6tienne, les Babyloniens 
exaniinoient attentiTement les mouvemens celestes; Toyons 
maintenant k qnoi ib ^toient parvenus. J'ai dit que lenr astro- 
iDomie se redoisoit presque k Tinrention du Zodiaqne, et ^ la 
division da ciel en constellations.'' &c. The epoch of Belus, 
however, is here brought much too low, for reasons already 
specified ; vid. supr. p. 9, n. i*. p. 148. n. ^'f. 

W Vid. supr. p. 196. n. «^. conf. p. 153. n.«« p. 126. n.«a« 
4M The first eclipse noticed by Ptolemy, as observed by the 
Chaldees^ is referred to the 29th day of tilie month Thoth, An. 
iN'abonas. 26. in the first year of Merodac, king or viceroy of 
Babylon ; which corresponds with March 19. An. JuK JPer. 
^993. B.C. 721. vid. Ptol. Magn. Op. IV. vi. It is observed 
by Flamsteed, that the observation of this eelipse occurred 
the year after the deportation of the Israelites into capti- 
vity; and that in the following year, two ecKpses were ob- 
served in the space of six montibs, at Babylon ; Hist. Coelest 
uti supr. p. 5. I have already noticed some remarkable cir- 
cumstances, by which tikis epoch was distingoiisbed ; vid. supr. 
p. 161. n. «fi». 


tives imparted to their Assyrian conquerors.*^ 
In justification of a conclusion, which militates 
against early prescriptive opinion, he judiciously 
observes, that the Israelites vv^ere necessarily led, 
by the nature of their festivals, which depended 
on the lunaf conjunctions, to a closer attention to 
the lunar motions, than the Chaldees, whose as- 
trology was founded on the periods and appearan- 
ces of the planets. 

It is not to be dissembled, however, that an ex- 
travagant antiquity has been ascribed to the As- 
syrian astronomy, on the ground of positive ob- 
servations ; of which, it has been asserted, that re- 
cords were preserved from the remotest ages. 
But when the inducements which existed to ex- 
aggerate, on this subject, are taken into account, 
with the facility with which calculations may be 
proleptically made for any definite period ; they 
will not be thought deserving of serious attention. 

Of such a description is the period of 27000 
years, mentioned by Hipparchus, as ascribed by 
the Assyrians to -the reigns of the seven planetary 
rulers.**** So slight is the foundation, however, 

^9 From a comparison of the dates of the earliest astronomi- 
cal observations, ascribed to the Chaldees and Greeks, with 
the period of the captivity, Flamsteed comes to the foUowing 
conclusion ; Hist. Coel. uti supr. p. 5. ** Atque hinc Assyrios, 
Medos, Chaldseos, a captivis Israelitis, Astronomiae elementa 
primo didicisse credibile videtur." 

**o Vid. Prod, in Tim. uti supr. p. 171. n. ^\ It b of some 
importance to observe, that from the transmission of the account 
of this period, by Hipparchus, it must be inferred, that it 
could have had no connexion with the precesaon of the equif 
noxes, and the great period of their revolution, which is now 
termed the Platonic I ear; as the suppo»tion, that Hippar- 
chus could have derived the knowledge of either, from the As- 
syrians or Chaldeans, is utterly irreconcilable with the fact of 
his having claimed the merit of the discovery. To' this marit. 

^H^T^sr-rmn^- — •^ ^ 


which the Chaldean astrology, finds in this pe- 
riod, to sustain its antiquity, or prove it coeval 
with the world, that it mght be cited in subver- 
sion of the notion of its early origin. As it is an 
express description of seven revolutions of the 
Great Year, it supposes the world to have been so 
often destroyed and renovated :**^ so that its age 
being calculated from the last restitution, it was 
virtually ascribed a duration of merely three mil- 

Of many of those periods, the accounts which 
have been transmitted to us, vary so materially in 
the number of the years assigned to their dura- 
tion, as to deprive them of every claim to atten- 
tion. In two periods mentioned by Pliny and Be- 
rosus, as fixing the epoch of the Chaldean astro- 
nomy, the question lies between hundreds of years 

however, he expressly laid claim ; having professed to found 
his discovery on his own observations, and those of his pre- 
decessor Timocharis. A curiosity to ascertain, how far he 
might have been anticipated, in his invention, by the Assyri- 
ans, would naturally induce him to make inquiry, on the subject^ 
among the Chaldean astrologers ; and the result of his search, 
is thus probably communicated in the account, which has been 
transmitted by lamblichus ; which bears this internal evidence 
of its truth, that it accords, in principle, with that which Seneca 
has preserved, as derived from Berosus. The astronomers 
of the middle ages rated the annual precession of the equinoxes 
at something less than 54/^ 8tV''. and reduced the period of their 
revolution to 23750 years : vid. Ricciol. Almag. Lib. VI. xvi. 
It is now generally allowed that the annual precession amounts 
to 60",25 the secular to 1^ 23'. 45". which rate assigns to 72 
years, P. though no more was assigned to 100 years, by Hip- 
parchus and Ptolemy. On this subject Derham has observed, 
Astrotheol. B. IV. i. <' Plamsteed agrees Riccioli^s numbers 
to come nearest the truth, viz. 1®. 23". 20". in 100 years, or 50" 
in a year. According to which rate, the motion called the Pla- 
tonic Year is accomplished in 25920 years :" which merely 
wants 80 years of 26000. 
**» Vid. supr, p. 182. et n. 


and hundreds of thousands.**^ The reading which 
gives the lesser jwmber has the authority of some 
manuscripts in its favor ; and carries so far an evi- 
dence of its truth, as it refers the earliest recorded 
observations to the time, from which we have po- 
sitive grounds fcr dating the origin of the science. 
If the testimony of those early writers is thus un- 
derstood, it directly decides against the preten- 
sions of the Chaldeans. 

We may even adopt the greatest latitude, and 
admit the highest numbers, assigned those dates, 
to be correct ; even on the internal evidence, they 
may be proved the expression of factitious and ar- 
bitrary periods, deduced from remarkable epochs, 
lipon a principle of systematic misrepresentation. 
On reducing them to their first elements, by 
reversing this principle, they resolve themselves 
into three the most remarkable dates in the Assyri- 
an annals. Of these periods, one of 720000 years, 
which is mentioned by Epigenes, thus proves 
nearly identical with the epoch of the foundation 
of the Assyrian empire under Belus.**' One of 

♦^* The lesser number is, I find, adopted by Prof. Vince, 
who gives the following account of both the periods noticed 
above : Astron. uti supr. § 1252. ** Epigenes speaks of Ba- 
bylonian observations for the space of 720 years, Berosus al- 
lows them to have been made 480 years, before his time, which 
carries them back to 746 A. C« and this is in some measure 
confifrmed by the oldest eclipses, which are recorded by Ptole- 
my, one of which is mentioned to have happened 721 years A. 
C. and two 720 A. C." As the numerals in which those dates 
are expressed, are raised to thousands, by having a line drawn 
Qver them ; and as this line wsis liable to be omitted by trans- 
cribers, or obliterated by time ; it is probable that the highest 
numbers express the true reading of the mss. particularly, as it 
f^ppears from Cicero, that the Chaldeans claimed an extrava- 
gant antiquity for their astronomical observations. 
. ♦*» Vid. Plin. Nat. Hist. VII. Ivi. The period of 720000 

,Ji e 


480000, mentioned by Berosns and Gritodeitius, 
and one of 473000, mentioned by Diodonis and 
Cicero, correspcmds wiih the time of the accessioB 
of the second dynasty of the Assyrian monarchy, 
under Belataras.^ And one of 150000 years, as*, 
cribed by Alexander Polyhistor to Berosus, ag^rees 
with the epoch of its restoration, under the dynas- 
ty of Nabonasar.^ As the principle of under- 

days, reduced to afltronomical years, of 360 days, amounts to 
2000 years ; which sum beuig deducted from A. J. P. 4383. 
the era of the taking of Babylon, by Alexander, leaves A. J. 
P. 2383: which corresponds with the 26th year from the acces- 
sion of Belos, A. J. P. 2357. B. C. 2357. comp. Helvic. 
Tab. Chron. p. 5, f. Yignol. uti supr. II. p. 636. 

♦** Vid. Plin. Ibid. Diod. Sic. II, xxxi. Cic. de Divin. I. 
zxzvi. The period of 480000 days, reduced as aboye^ amounts 
to 1333 astronomical years, and 4 months : which deducted 
from A. J. P. 4302» when Berosus flourished^ leaves A. J. P. 
3059. B. C. 1655. corresponding with the time of Balataras' 
accession, the founder of the second dynasty of Assyrian ino- 
narcbs : comp. Helvic. ibid. Yignol. ibid. p. 638. llie period 
of 473040 days reduced as before, amounts to 1314 astronomi-' 
cal years ; which deducted from A. J. P. 4383. leaves A. J. 
P. 3060. corresponding with the 9th year from the accession 
of Balatras, A. J. P. 3059. B. C. 1655. comp. Helvic. Tab. 
Chron. p. 16. k. Vignol. ibid. p. 640. 

*^ Vid. Syncel. p. 28. Enseb. Scalig. p. 5. The period of 
160000 days, reduced as before, amounts to 416 years, 8 
months ; which, as Conringius first observed, eorreq[K>nds pre- 
cisely with the time intervening between the era of Nabona- 
sar, and Alexander: vid. Advers. Chron. ix p. 166. The hint 
has been improved upon by M. des Yig^olles, who carries the 
calculation to the utmost nicety; shewing that conformably to 
Berosus's statement, 150000 days had intervened, almost to a 
day, between the epoch of Nabonasar, and the d^ of Alex- 
ander's entering Asia, in July. An. Nab. 417. To 149760, 
the sum of the days in 416 years, elapsed of this era, — ^he adds 
40, the days unexpired of me current year of Nabonasar 417, 
which began Nov. 14 : — and 192 the sum of the days from the 
beginning of the year to July 11th, — which form a total of 
150000 ; and he shews, from Arrian, thkt Alexander entered 
Thapsacus, on the Euphrates, in tiie month Hecatombeoa, 
iirhich began, the same year, July 9th. 


standing days for years, by which these results are 
brought out, is p^ectly legitimate ; as founded on 
the idiom of the oriental languages, in which the 
terms year and day were confounded,*^ and on 
the principles of the ancient astrology,- in which 
the periods of great years were expressed by the 
days of the lesser cycles :**^ the coincidences 
to which they lead are fully adequate to their es- 
tablishment. That four or five different periods, 
though expressed in round numbers, reported on 
different authorities, and calculated at different 
times, should, by mere accident, coincide so 
nearly, with three the most remarkable epochs of 
the Assyrian annals, is a supposition so repugnant 
to all credibility, as to be inadmissible, even for a 
moment. These periods being thus understood, 
the earliest proves but coeval with the epoch of 
the foundation of the Assyrian monarchy; of 
which I have already spoken, as corresponding, to 
an extraordinary degree, with the date assigned 
tliat monarchy, in the sacred chronology.*^ 

There are, however, other tests by which the 
accuracy of these calculations may be proved, 
and the age of the Chaldean astrology directly 
established. Callisthenes, who attended Alexan- 
der tiie Great, in his oriental expedition, having 
taken the pains to inquire into the antiquity of 
the science, sent his grand uncle Aristotle, an 
account of observations which were made for 
1-903 years, by the Babylonians.**^ When this^ 
period is calculated backwards, from the time of 
^e entrance of Babylon, by ike Macedonian con- 

^ Vidisupr. p. leSin.w. 
^ ^ Vid. ibid. p. 182: n; ^. p. 188. n. ^^. 
**« Vid. supr. p. 9. n. i*. conf. infr. p. 215. n. **». 
^ Simplic. in Aristot. de Coel. 11. com. 46. 

E e 2 





\ queror ; another extraordinary coincidence is the 

result,*^ as we are again led to the epoch which has 
been just mentioned, as confirmed by the chro- 
nology of scripture. 

With these views, in fact, the testimony of 
Aristotle himself fully agrees. So far is the philo- 
sopher from ascribing an antiquity to the Chal- 
dean astrology, extending to several thousand 
years; that he lowers the date of the Egyptian 
observations to 2000 years, and places the epoch 
of the Babylonian not much earlier .*^^ And in the 
period of the Canicular Year, which both nations 
employed, is implied a decisive proof, that their 
observations are here ascribed the most indulgent 
latitude. As the theory on which that period is 
founded involves a practical error of more than 
thirty six years ;*^ had their observations con- 
tinued from the beginning to the close of it; 
it is wholly inconceivable that this error should 
have remained undetected. Conformably to the 
principles of that theory, it was conceived, that the 
dog-star by which the beginning of the Great Ca- 
nicular Year was determined, would rise heliacal- 
ly, upon the same day, after 1461 years had ex- 
pired, from the commencement of the cycle.*^* 
But from the excess of the sidereal above the 
civil year, its rising must have anticipated their 

^^ On deductinf^ 1903. the period mentioned by Callb- 
thenes from A. J. P. 4383. ivhen Alexander took possession 
of Babylon, there remains A. J. P. 2480. B. C. 2234. which 
corresponds with the 18th year of the reign of Semiramis, from 
whence Africanus dates the commencement of the Babylonian 
era ; vid. Scalig. Can. Isag. p. 271. .Yignol. uti supr. p. 634. 

**i Arist. de Coelo. II. xii. § 60. "HKucra ^ iyu AiyvmVui oia^ 

^ Vid supr. p. 205. n. *«5. 

♦*» Vid. supr. p. 94. n. 2W. p, 202. n,«2. 



calculations thirty six years ; and at the close of 
the period they would have consequently found a 
difference of nine days, betM^een the opening of 
the new year, and the appearance of the star, by 
which its beginning should be determined.*^ As 
no greater skill was necessary to bring these prin- 
to the test, than that they should be able to count 
tiie years of their cycle, and at its expiration 
observe, whether the star, which should determine 
its beginning, appeared on the new-year's day, 
before sunrise : it is impossible to account for the 
error, in which they remained, on any other 
ground, than that their observations had not em- 
braced the commencement and the close of this 
very limited period.*** 

I have engaged in this brief review of the great 
periods, for which it has been asserted, that astro- 
nomy was cultivated by the Chaldees, not merely 

^^ As the sidereal year consists of 365d. 6h. 9". IV'4. and 
the Egyptian civil year of 365 d. only, it required but 1424 
sidereal years to make up 1425 Egyptian, containing respec- 
tively about 520125 days. But 1460 Julian years, or 1461 
Egyptian, were necessary, to allow the beginning of the year 
to retrograde 365 days, in order to make up for the loss of a 
day every fourth year, on account of the neglect of the inter- 
calation. When 1425 of this period, of course, had expired, 
the sidereal year was completed ; and at the end of 1461 years, 
the sum of more than 6 hours, accumulating yearly, for 36 years, 
amounted to 9 days ; by which the beginning of the great year, 
and that of the sidereal year were of course separated. 

^^ Beyond the terms in which La Lande has expressed him- 
self, on the subject of the Canicular Year, it seems almost use- 
less to look for any proof, that the ancients could never have 
observed the beginning and end of such a period. ''The an- 
cients," he observes, '' irere m error, in the calculation of it, 
a^ove thirty six years:. • • ,the period was not such as was he* 
lieved: the civil year neither agreed, at the end of 1460 years, 
"with the tropical year, nor the sidereal :" vid. supr. p. 187. n.^' 
How, it may be then asked, is it possible, it could have fallen 
under their observation ? 


with the view of removing any objectioQ, they 
may create to the presumption, that the Assyrians> 
who had form^ the expectation of a Great Deliver- 
er, were not unacquainted with the time of his 
advent. From the positive results to which these 
periods lead, when resolved into their first princi- 
ples, in the application of which the Chaldeans 
were versed, above all the ancients: I conceive 
we may deduce a cof^rmatiou of the position. 
From the £stcility which these periods afforded the 
least practiced calculators, to compute the time 
elapsed, from the old and new era of Babylon ; 
which marked the epochs of the foundation suid 
restitution of the Assyrian monarchy, under Belus 
and" Nabonasar ; no difficulty could have opposed 
the computation of the time of the Great Restitu- 
tiion, with which, it has been shewn, both epochs 
were, in some measure connected.*^*^ The period 
for which the Assyrian and Median empire had 
lasted, was too well known to be mistaken : the 
origin of the Persian monarchy was not less cer- 
tain^ nor less easy to ascertain. ;^^ and tiiie time of 
its subversion^ being identified with that of Alex- 
ander's entrance into Babylon, which* was the 
gjeat epoch fi:'om which those calculations were 
generally made.; the utmost &ci]ity was conse- 
quently afforded the computer,, to connect the 
earliest epoch of the Assyrian annals, with the 
time when he flourished'. So compact and con- 
nected are the links, by which the chronological 
chain is held together, that even at the present 


♦*^' VM. sup. p. 148. seq. 

^^ Petayius thus easily ascertains the time of the foundation 
of the Assyrian monarchy, by a calculation built upon the dif- 
ferent epochs of the Assyrian, Median, and- Persian empircr, 
Rat. Temp. P. 11. Lib. II. iii. 


day, chroiK>logi«ts find little difficulty ia ascending 
by its aid, and measuring the distance between 
their own age, and the foundation of the first 
monarchy, within a few years of the deluge.**^, 

*^ The pYoofb establishing the epoch of the Assyrian mo* 
narchy, are compressed by Helvicus within a short compass, 
to whom the reader may be referred ; vid. Theatr. Hist. Chron, 
p. 5. f. Having premised that the calculation of this epoch 
should be made a posteriori, from the fall of Sardanapalus, 
last king of Assyria, and the rise of Arbaces« first king of the 
Medes; and having stated, after Justin, following Trogus Pom- 
peius, the time of the duration of the Assyrian monarchy, he 
fixes the epoch of its foundation at the commencement of the 
Babylonian era, A. J. P. 2462. B. C. 2232. and shews its 
correspondcince with scripture. He then produces the follow- 
ing authorities, in confirmation of his computation ; from which 
it may be collected, how easily the beginning of the Babylo- 
nian era might be determined, Ibid. '* Ad hoc Justini seu Tro- 
gi testimonium confirmandum *' Sec. *' It contributes greatly to 
confirm this testimony of Justin, or Trogus, that the computa- 
of Diodorus Siculus, adopted from Ctesias, agrees with it, in an 
extraordinary degree ; who declares the Assyrian empire lasted 
1360 years to the fall of Sardanapalus. Count backwards 
I960 years, from th^ fall of Sardanapalus, and you will come 
to the head of the Babylonian era, and at the same time, to the 
beginning of the reign of Belos. But the Babylonian era wa» 
unfolded by GallistiLenes, who informed Aristotle, from the 
Babylonian archives, that Babylon was taken by Alexander in 
the year 1903 of the era of the Chaldees, as is stated in Sim^- 
plicius. Which notation accurately accords with the computa- 
tion of Diodorus. For from the frill of Sardanapalus, 543 
years are numbered to the capture of Babylon, by Alexander : 
to which, if you add the 1360 years, occurring between the 
foundation of the empire and the fall of Sardanapalus, you will 
come to the year 1903 of the era of Babylon. Besides this, 
from Velleius Paterculus, the same number of years, as are 
stated by Justin, is collected, though by a different hypothesis ; 
namely 1300 froni Ninus to the fall of Sardanapalus, and the 
accession of Arbaces. Vid Seal. Can. p. 313» et Lips. Not. in 
Velleium. So much for the foundation of the Assyrian em^ 
pire. The beginning of the monarchy, all historians, as well 
ethnic as christian, refer to Ninus. Yid. Diodor. Justin. Dionys. 



Nor let it be objected, that insuperable obata* 
cles arise, to embarrass the computation of this 
early period of the history of mankind, from the 
obscurity in which the antediluvian ages are invol- 
ved; or the uncertainty introduced into the an- 
cient chronology, by the . contradictory calcula- 
tions of the Hebrews, Greeks and Samaritans. 
It is not necessary, in meeting this objection, to 
have recourse to the plea, that in proportion as 
our inquiries are carried up, these difficulties, 
which merely arise from the imperfect views, or 
false representations of later ages, must disap- 
pear : and that a period existed in the annals of 
our race, in which the scattered traditions of man- 
kind, however widely dispersed, made up one 
uniform and consistent testimony. On limiting 
our views even to the most obscure periods, and 
remote nations, some proof of the existence of such 
an age, maybe deduced, from the uniformity 
with which, even in them, the leading events in 
the general history are attested. Nor are the 
proofs of their veracity deducible merely from the 
accuracy with which some remarkable dates are 
fixed, or the fidelity with which the general tenor 
of incidents is recorded : but from the clue which 
is furnished, for unravelling the perplexities, and 
clearing up the misrepresentations of later ages^ 
and reconciling their inconsistencies witli the 
common voice of antiquity. 

Oros. Hieron. But most chronologers, investigate the com- 
ipencement of the Assyrian monarchy, not from the beginning 
of Cyaxaipes' but the end of Astyages's reign, the last of the 
kings of the Medes, to whom they attribute 35 years, after 
Herodotus, connecting the beginning of his reign with the end 
of that of Cyrus. By these means, they anticipate my com- 
putation about five years; in the choice between which the 
reader is left to his own discretion/' 


iln confirmation of these principles, reference 
might be mqde to the most prominent incidents of 
the sacred annuls which have received the fullest 
attestation of their truth,, from those ethnic writers, 
who have compiled the history of the eastern 
continent. Of the deluge and dispersion of man- 
kind, of the call of Abraham, and the legation of 
Moses, their accounts, are generally circumstan- 
tial, and accurate; ^allowance being made for 
their peculiar views, and prejudices, as pagans/^^ 
As I am immediately engaged with the opinions 
^nd tenets of the Assyrians, the first of those 
events, especially that connected with the erec- 
tion of the tower of Babel, claims particular at- 
tention : as from this occurrence, that nation, 
'which took the lead in the polity of the east, da- 
ted the epoch of its empire. 

When this period is carefully determined, with 
reference to the chronological series, which is de- 
ducible from the Mosaic history ;*^^ :I cannot 

459 rriie testioiQiiy of those Mrriters has been collected by Jo- 
sephus and Eusebius ; and may be seen in the Praeparatio 
"EvangcUca-of the latter writer; Lib. IX. xi. seq. 

•460 .[ have -already had occasion to mention the era of Ba- 
•bylon; and, -when it is computed from the statement of the 
'higheilit authorities, its coincidence with Sciipture; vid. supr. p. 
-215. n. ^^. Jdtcompatation, made hke that of Helvicus, v^ 
posteriori, is alone calculated to put us in possession of the 
troth ; ^as the reigns ofthe.-Pessiaiis and Macedoi^tans are accu- 
rately known,^ereas:the accession of the- elder monarchs, cui 
« which Afrieanus and hss. followers, build, is Involved; in :u«cer- 
'tainty and error. The foandatton . of the cofuputation beio^ 
once firmly laid ; the con«arrent testimony of such authorities 
asr Gallisthenes, Ctesias, Diodocus, Trogus, and Justin, must be 
-considered- definitive, asito therdiiration of the monarchy. On 
their authority, Helvicus appears to have most accurately fixed 
it, A. J. P. 248^;^whtch redueed«to Abp. Us^her's calculation 
cJf-thetimoof the Creation and Nativity answers to A. M. 
1772. B, C. 22«2. Or correctijig Helvicus, who after Scali- 

F f 



discover any difference between the sacred and 
profane account which will justify a denial of 
their perfect identity. The inspired historian, 
mentioning in general terms, the dispersion, at 
the building of the tower of Babel, fixes that 
event "in the days" of Peleg: whose birth is 
placed by him, in the year of the world 1767, 
just thirteen years before the era of Babylon.*^^ 
If we suppose the Assyrians dated the origin oS 
their empire from the foundation of the tower, and 
dispersion of mankind; there is nothing in the 
supposition which militates against the account of 
Peleg's birth, who must have been consequently 
thirteen years old, at the time the city of Babylon 
was founded. 

From the indefinite manner in which the date 
of the deluge is fixed, by native Assyrian writers ; 
a Chaldean measure of time being used in com- 
puting it, on the length of which different opinions 
are held ; advantage might be taken to assert its 
identity with the epoch assigned to the flood, by 
the scripture chronology. According to the 

ger miscalculates the nativity two years ; the epoch may be de- 
termined, by the account of Callisthenes, uti supr. p. 212. n.^^ 
still more accurately A. J. P. 2480. A. M. 1770. B. C. 2234. 
I shall here take occasion to observe, that Semiramis having 
founded the great temple of Belus. at Babylon ; the misconcep- 
tion thence probably originated, that the tower of Babel, of the 
destruction of which, accounts are given by Abydenus, Alex- 
ander Polyhistor, Eupolemus, and Artapanus, was built in her 
reign ; vid. supr. p. 206. n. ♦^. p. 212. n. *^. It should be, 
however, observed, as Helvicus has intimated, that there were 
two epochs of the Assyrian monarchy ; one dated from Ninus, 
and marking the commencement of the historical period, the 
other from Belus, about 100 years earlier, and marking that of 
the fabulous. 

^^ Helvicus, collecting the several ages ascribed to the pa- 
triarchs, remarks. Tab. Chron^ p. 4. h. ad A* M. 1757. " Pe- 
leg nascitur anno Mvndi 1767. Eberi 34. Gen. xi. IGu" 


scheme followed in the Septuagint translatroii of 
the scriptures, which diflfers ftom the Hebrew ori- , 
ginal, 586 years, this hypothesis might be easily 
maintained, and justified by ancient authority, j 
But as there is no reason to doubt, that the chro- 
nological scheme of this ancient version, which is , 
now very generally abandoned for that of the origi- ; 
nal, is systematically corrupted : the affinity be- . 
tween it and the Chaldee, can have no other ef- . 
feet than to involve the latter in its discredit. The 
subject, however, merits some closer attention; , 
not merely on account of the extraordinary confir- ; 
mation, which the Chaldee computation of time 
receives from the Egyptian ;*^^ but from the clue 
which it affords for reconciling the Samaritan and 
Greek schemes of chronology with the Hebrew. 

When the dates ascribed by the Chaldees to 
the events of the antediluvian history, are internal- 
ly considered, little doubt can be entertained, that ' 
the system of their chronology has been accom- 
modated to the principles of a favorite science. 
While they agree with the Hebrews, in supposing 
ten princes reigned before the Deluge, which 
have been identified with the ten patriarchs, men- 
tioned by Moses ;^^ they assign the space of 120 
sari, to their collective reigns,*^* by which period, 

^* Vid. Syncel. Chronogr. p. 17. Referring to this chrono- 
loger, it is accordingly observed by the authors of the Ant. Hist. 
B. I. ch. i. Vol. I. p. 272. ** The Egyptians, who would ^ive 
place to no one nation in point of antiquity, have also a series 
of kings, who, as is pretended, reigned in Egypt before the 
flood; and to be even with the Chaldees, began their account 
the very same year that their's does, according to Berosus." 

^^ Vid. infr. p. 223. comp. 224. n.4«. 

*^* The admirable Bp. Pearson, improving upon Scaliger, 
while remarking on the exorbitant length of the reigns, ascribed ' 
to the Egyptian kings, thus expresses himself : Exp. of Creed. 
Vol. II. p, 68. " As Diodorus Siculus takes notice of the JS- 

Ff 2 



of course, the distance of time intervening be- 
tween the deluge and the creation is determined. 
Respecting the length of the Chaldean saros, 
different opinions are maintained: according to 
which, this interval is variously estimated ; some 
computing it at 432000 years, some at 1200, and 
some at 2220.^* These different conjectures, on 
the nature and value of this ancient measure of 
time are exposed to the direct objection, that they 
were wholly unnoticed by a writer who has minute- 
ly described the Chaldean astrology, has profes- 
sedly undertaken to determine the diflFerent cycles 
received among the ancients, and has expressly 
ascribed one, consisting ot 12 years, to the Chal- 
dees.'*^ That this period gives the true value to 
the saros, employed by Berosus, in fixing the 
date of the Deluge, a single consideration, out of 

gyptians, and Abydenus of the Ckaideans, whose ten first kings 
reigned 120 Sari, Slq mq woivloci nvon paci'KiX^ ^ixM uv o x^^^^ 
T7i<; /?acr(^Et<xf avvvj^s a-oc^aq IkocIov eltcoa-i.'* He subseqaently adds 
in explaining the Saros : *' neither was this the account only of 
Abydenus, but also of Berosus/^ 

465 Three interpretations are given of the Saros ; Alexander 
Polyhistor, and after him Eusebius, make it 36000 years; of 
course 120 Sari amount to 432000 years. Two monks, Abia- 
nus and Panodorus, by substituting dai(9 for years, reduced this 
account to 1183 years, 6 months, apd 25 days ; estimating the 
Saros at 9 years, 10 months, and a half. Thus far Scaliger ; 
whose statement is repeated by Bp. Pearson : but M . des Vig- 
noiies, adopting the ancient year of 360d. makes the Saros 10 
years, or 120 months; the sum of 120 Sari, of course, 1200 
years. Bp. Pearson offers a third interpretation of the Saros, 
from Suidas, in which it is made 222 months : or 18 years 6 
months : hence the sum of 120 Sari amounts to 2220 years. 
But Haliey. made it appear, that the period of the lunar Saros, 
which is mentioned by Pliny, was 223 months : and mss. have 
been found to confirm his conjecture of this being the true rea- 
ding in Pliny, as well as to confirm that of Pearson, who has 
corrected the number in Suidas. 

^^ Vid. Censorin. de Die Natal, cap. xiii, conf, supr. p. 94. 

n. 204. 


many that might be advanced, seemiS very fully 
to establish. When the length of the ten reign« 
antecedent to the Deluge, is computed by this 
period, they collectively form th^ sum of 1440 
years, which has been already mentioned as the 
Great Year of the Chaldees.^^ That this result 
is not merely accidental, is an assumption, which 
is borne out, not merely by the great improbability 
implied in the supposition, that the product of 
ten sums, casually taken, like the sums ascribed 
to the reigns of those ten princes, should exactly 
coincide with this remarkable cycle. Without in- 
sisting on the force of the term, saros, the chance 
of error to which the ancients were liable, in ex- 
plaining the term, and to which we are exposed in 
understanding their expositions :*^ one considera- 

*W Vid. infr. p. 223. comp. supr. p. 167. n. 353. The "cycle 
however existed previously to the discovery of the method of 
intercalating hy months : and preceded the Egyptian cycle of 
1460 years,. to which it gave rise, as Sir J. Marsham has shewn': 
Can. Chron. p. 296. It originated in the old astronomical year 
of 360 days, the beginning of which retrograded through the sea- 
sons in 72 revolutions ; 20 of which formed an Annus Maximus 
of 1440 years. The same period arises, on multiplying 120, the 
number of sari ascribed to the antediluvian reigns ; by 12, the 
number of years ascribed by Censoriaus, t6 the Annus Magnus 
of the Chaldeans. 

4^ The term saros has been deduced from the Syriac 'fny ^ 
ten ; and has been accordingly understood as meaning a deead : 
vid. Allin, Disc, or Anc. Year. p. 166. But I believe it may 
be derived with greater probability from «vw f t^ perfect, and 
that it was rathet analogous to a period, or ayele. This - deri-' 
vation accords with the best authenticated description of tboF 
Chaldee saros, winch wc' have received ; in which it is repre- 
sented as a lunar cycle of 223 monihs, which is wholly uncon- 
nected with a decad. vid.' supr. p. 120. n.*^^. The period, of 12 • 
years, to which I would extend the term, consisted of a Great ' 
Year, in which every month was equal to a year ; and was 
supposed to bring round a perfect vicissitude of' the seasons'. 
This period, as constituted of 12 ancient years, consisted bf 4820 ' 
days ; which might easily give rise to the extravagant period of 


tion seems to place the point beyond all reasona- 
ble exception. The great conversions of nature, 
between which we find the period of a Chaldee 
Great Year thus placed, as interposed between the 
Creation and Deluge, are precisely those chan- 
ges which the Great Year was conceived to bring 
round, by its revolution.*^ I cannot think, it will 
be thought necessary, that more time should be 
consumed in investigating the length of 120 
sari ; or in proving, that the Chaldees computed 
the period of 1440 years, between the Creation 
and Deluge ; and that in the preference shewn by 
them to this period, a blind submission was paid to 
their science, to the demands of which, they sacri- 
ficed the accuracy of their chronology. 

From the principles thus unfolded, I will now 
venture to assert, that a solution may be drawn, 
not merely of the difficulties in which the Chaldee 
computation of the earliest epochs is embarrassed ; 
but a clue may be found, to unravel the intricacies 
in which the Samaritan and Septuagint calcula- 
tions are involved, and to account for their devia- 
tions from the Hebrew. For this purpose, I 
shall exhibit a comparative view of the periods 
ascribed to the antediluvian patriarchs, or princes 

432000 years, assigned by Abydenus to the antediluvian princes : 
as the letters by which numbers are distinguished in the Syriac, 
and other oriental languages, are raised in value merely by 
points, and lines, placed over and under them ; and as the term 
year and day vrere in those languages convertible. Thus the cha- 
racter », which expresses 4, acquires from the annexed points the 

following values ; j 40, » 4000, » 40000, » 40000000. Thus it is 

not impossible, that Abydenus, by whom the most extravagant 
length is ascribed to the saros, might have been deceived or im- 
posed upon ; and that, if divested of wilful or accidental error, 
his statement vFould differ immaterially, from that which I have 
hazarded, as to the true length of the saros. 
^ Vid. supr. p. 04. n. f^*, p. 147. n. ^*. p. 171. n. w 




according to the sacred and profane chronology;* 
annexing to the former the different dates at 
•which their sons were born, according to the He- 
brew Samaritan and Septuagint computation ; and 
to the latter, the number of years into which I 
conceive the sari should be interpreted. 


Sari. Yeara. 

Aloms reigned . . 10 or 120 

Alasparus 3. . 36 

Amelon 13.. 156 

Amenon 12. • 144 

Megalaras 18. • 216 

Daonus 10.. 120 

Euedorachus . • . 18.. 216 

Amphis 10.. 120 

vJ tiartes ••.••«• o.. %H) 
Xisuthrus 18.. 216 


Deluge 120. .1440 

Dispersion 1770 


Adam 130. 

Seth 105. 

Enos 90. 

Cainan...* 70. 
Mahaleel.. 65. 

Jared 162. 

Enoch 65. 

Lamech ...182 
Noah 600. 

Sam. Sept. 

.130.. 230 
.106.. 206 
. 90.. 190 
• 70.. 170 
. 66.. 165 
. 62.. 162 
. 65.. 166 
. 67.. 187 
. 53.. 188 
.600. .600 

Deluge . . 1656. .1307. .2262 
Dispers. ..1770. .1721. .2787 

The epoch of the dispersion is here calculated 
from the age of Peleg, by adding 13 years to the 
time assigned to his bu'th, in the accounts of the 
Hebrew, Samaritan and Septuagint. 

As the particular object on which I am engaged 
is very different from that of tracing the affinities 

<o The line of Chaldee princes is taken from the lists pre- 
served, by Syncellus, Chron. p. 18. 38. 39. from Abydenus, 
ApoUodonis, and Africanus. The terms of their reigns' are 
generally given from Africanus, the list of Abydenus being 
imperfect at the beginning, and that of Apollodorus at the la- 
ter end. On ^e authority of the two last, 10 sari are ascribed 
to the reign of Daonus ; such being the number necessary to 
complete the sum of 120 sari, during which those princes reigned, 
according to the uniform testimony of Berodus, Abydenus, and 


between* the Chaldee traditions and sacred liistav 
ry; I shall merely observe incidentally, that no 
doubt can be entertained, that the persons, directly 
opposed in these lists, and assigned a supremacy 
over the antediluvian world, must he identicaL^'* 
My business is more immediately with the annexe 
ed dates, as affording a test of the accuracy of the 
Chaldees, in their chronological computations. 

♦^i*The identity of the ten Chaldee- prinees, and Antedila- 
vian patriarchs, is -not merely evident, -from the. general confor- 
mity which- ^e are*as6Ufed existed between, the early accounts 
of the Hebrews and Chaldees, which, is expressly .attested- by 
Theophilus Antiochen : p. 139. d. and Or^en contr. Gels. I. xiv. 
Their identity is jexpressly asserted by Cyril Alexandr. contr. 
Jul. I. viii. and .Cosmas Iiulicopl. XII. ,i. iii. By this la^t 
mentioned .writer, it is declared ; Ibid. "Ev t»k XotxictUoTq y^oiyt.- 
/M«r»y.Bi}^^q-tf jc^c. *^ In the Chaldee history of Berosusand others, 
it is thus stated ; that ten kings feigned among them, 2242 my- 
riads of years : and that under the tenth king, Xisuthrus, as he 
.is called, a great <lelyge occ4ared, but that Xisuthrus, warned 
by God, entered a vessel, with, his wife and relations, and ani- 
mals, . and was i^yed upon the mountains of Armenia ; tbmt 
after the deluge he offered eucharistic sacrifices to the gods ; in 
.which account,' the entire history ^f JMoses is exhibited in a dif- 
ferent form. For mankind having continued for- ten ^genera- 
tions in the former world, during 2242 years; in the teqth 
generation, the deluge happening under Noah, they were cair- 
ried hither by the ark. ^'This Noah tkey call Xisuthi>iis.'' A 
little lower down, he proceeds to identify each^f ihe Chaldee 
.princes with one of the patriarchs. Qf the. first of the line, he 

observes. Ibid. iii. civtvrXoiQavro x^ a.vrol ^iKat'^ocffiXBTi, sr«j)' avroT^ 

^aatXtvQxuTm* • • *u» orCff^uf4ii''A\cij^oi, rjiTtri^ 4i^oifjL,, And how- 
ever the patriarch, is disguised in this representation, it is not 
i impossible to recognise hini, even under this: title. TE%is^ prince 
is evidently identical with, the "si^oq, who appears ^at the -head- of 
.the line a£ antediluvian monarchs, which are placed by -the ^E- 
gyptiansy at. the commencement of 'their annals. By this: title, 
hewill he easily identified with the Baal of: the Orientalists ; 

Suid..LeX. VOC. n^fela^ros* ro ayaXiAOc rs n^(aiEr»» T«f Slpa ^ocp* 'A«- 

,^iMr7M»(, -a^^fuwosiiU vroySQiv x^s. The remainder of the oiffeosive 
description, will be found supr. p. 89. n.^^^. and its interpreta- 
tion ibid. p. 104. seq. 



la order to ^^^blisJi this test, it is necessary that 
the authority of the Hebrew account should be 
vindixjated; as by a ealculg-tion founded exclu- 
^ivaly upo» it, those four ages are found to inter- 
vene^ betwe^ the Creation of the world and that 
restitutioo, wjbiicb the Orientalists considered a 
Regenejatipp.'*^^ And even at the first vipw, ap- 
pearances seem to decide in favor of the Hebrew 
chro4M>logy. The differences of the computations, 
in the four scfaeQfies, when comparatively viewed, 
may be most easily jiccounted for, on the assump^ 
tipp of its ^.ccuracy . 

The sum of the «ieveral years ascribed to the 
Chaldee pinc^, not only constitutes a complete 
cycje, as amounting to 1440 years; but as forming 
tbjO Chaldee Great Year, constitutes the most re- 
raarkabte period aclgipwledged by that people. 
As it falls slioit of the correspondent perio4 
1)856, in the Hebrew, just 216 years; the date 
wjiich it marks, is consequently removed precisely 
tiui^m r^vQl^im^^ f)i the ancient Cycle of 72 years ; 
^wiiich was aot less a remarkable period, as fur- 
nishing the element, out of which the Great 
Year was constructed.^* Here there are plain 
iadicatiofits, th?.t artifice has been employed ; and 
obviously not employed, on the §ide of the Jie- 

froHX the manner in which the sacred history 
j!l€K3puBtt^ ^be patriarchs' ages^ whatever be the 
.edition by whrnh Ihej !^e ^oi^puted ; it is obvious, 
that tb« <liff^r6n€es between their cpmput^tioi^s, 
lire n^t to be accpunted for, on the grounds erf iur 
fi^eji^cid^ ox acicideQtal alteration. As it divides 
4he 'perigd erf their levies injto two parts, and adds 
-^ sum of each portion:; though it is very possi- 

^ ¥id. sttpr.-p, 172.. 0. ^. *7s Vid. 3.upr. p. 221. n.*fi7. 

G g 



ble, that the three numbers expressing each of 
these periods, might be changed by a handy 
scribe ; the error must have united in its com- 
position, something of a miracle, by which they 
could be so transubstantiated, as to leave the com- 
putation consistent, when this triple blunder was 
committed.^^* Whatever be the principle, which 

4T4 p, Tournemine, having perceived the facility with which 
the first figure might be inadvertently dropped, in three dates 
of the Samaritan ; thence conceived his project for reducing it at 
once to the Hebrew ; which would have rendered the case of 
the Septuagint hopeless, as having two to one against it. And 
without doubt, the knot might have been thus speedily cut, and 
the contest, on the subject of their chronology, ended; had not 
the Samaritans, both in their text and version, perversely accom- 
modated the remnant of Jared, Methuselah and Lamech's lives, 
which alone differ from the Hebrew, to those dates expressing 
their earlier years, which the reverend father had so easily re- 
duced to accidental errors. Thus While the Hebrew ascribes 
to the earlier days of Jared 162 years, and to the latter 800, 
it rounds the whole into the sum of 962. And it deals in the 
same manner by Methuselah, and Lamech ; noting the different 
periods of the life of the former, under the numbers 187, 782, 
and the sum 969 ; and of the latter, under 182, 595, and the 
sum 777. But what is more unlucky, the Samaritan, unfortu- 
nately, besides dropping a century, in numbering 62 years, as 
Jared's earlier days, adds 785 years, as the remainder of his 
days, and sums up his years as 847 : and in like manner, expres- 
ses the age of Methuselah under the numbers 67, and 653, ga- 
thered in the sum 720 ; and that of Lamech under the numbers 
53, 600, and pollected also in the sum 653. Now, though it 
maybe granted, that the suras, 162, 187, 182, which express, in 
the Hebrew, the earlier days of the three patriarchs, might 
respectively migrate into 62, 87, 82, or even into 65, 67, 53, 
'which give the present reading of the Samaritan copies : it is 
drawing rather largely on our faith, to require us to admit, that 
800, 782, 595, which express their latter days, could, by a 
mere slip of the pen, respectively change into 785, 653, 600. 
Whatever the testimony of St. Jerome may decide, as to cer- 
tain copies which he inspected ; the consideration of the last 
numbers will, I believe, fully prove, that the notion of an acci- 
dental error, in transcription, is wholly inadequate to solve the 


Mras followed, and as the alteration was systematic, 
some principle must have existed ; to the deve- 
lopement of that, by which the revisers of the 
different editions were guided, the direct course 
appears to lie, in an investigation of the internal 

In pursuing this course, if a glance iis cast 
along the two columns, expressing the patriarchs' 
ages, in the Septuagint and the Samaritan; the 
uniformity with which they depart from the He-' 
brew is not less striking than that which has 
been pointed out in the Chaldee : both deviating' 
from it in the ratio of a century ; which is added 
to the dates of the Septuagint, and subducted 
from those of the Samaritan. Yet though thus 
differing from it, when they are estimated sepa- 
rately ; when their testimony is taken conjointly,. 
they aflford it the fullest confirmation ; as there is 
but one date of the Hebrew which is not confirm- 
ed by the concurrent authority, either of the 
Septuagint, or the Samaritan; its first numbers 
agreeing with the one, and its last with the other. 
And this is an advantage, which, it may be ob- 
served, is shared in common with it, neither by 
the' Septuagint, nor the Samaritan. 

The whole of the presumptions, arising from 
the internal evidence, consequently decide as 
strongly, in favor of the Hebrew computation, as 
against that of the Septuagint and Samaritan.. 
If, from the influence^ which the Chaldee might 
have hady upon the chronological schemes of the 

difficulties of the i|uestion before us : and that the Reverend 
Jesuit's principle goes but a short way towards reconciling 
the Samaritan with the Hebrew chronology ;— to any mind 
which is not constructed to admit a transmutation, as probable, 
as that inculcated, by the infallibility of his Mother Churcb, 
in the doctrine of trausubstantiation. 



latter, a principle can be dedticed, by vrbich these 
contrary elements may be tecondled; there can 
be little reason to doubt, that the difficulties in 
Which this intricate subject is involved, will find» 
in it, the true solution. The persons by whom 
the Samaritan copies were preserved, and the 
Samaritan version was formed, as Babylonian 
colonists by descent, naturally inherited the pre- 
judices <rf Chaldees.*'* Whatever controversy 

^* The account'of the colonisation oi Saaiaaria,/rani Babifhrn 
and Persia, is given, 2 King xyii. 24. seq. and particular men- 
tion made of the superstitious attachment with which the new 
settlers adhered to their paternal iraditioM. The sacred his- 
torian observes of them. Ibid. 33, 34. 40, 41. '' Tkey feareil 
tile Lord, and serted their oum gods after the manner of the jmh 
iionSf whom they carried away from thence. Unto this day 
they do after the former manner : they fear not tiie Lord nei- 
ther, do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or 
after the law and commandment, which Che Lord commanded 
the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel ••••Howbeit 
they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner^ 
So these nations feared the Lord, and served tneir graven ima- 
ges, both their children, and their children's children ; as did 
their fathers, so do they,'* Particukkr acdounts of the remalni 
of this extraordinary people, are given in a letter addressed by 
them to Scaliger, and published in Antiq. Eccles. Qnent. 
Morin. p. 122. Loud. 1688. and in separate Dissertations, by 
Reland. de Samarit. Lobstein. Comment, de Samar. Bielig. 
M. de Sacy M6m. sur les Samar. &c. This last writer, and 
great ornament of the present age, p. 14, Ifr. gives tiie histoiy 
of the copy of their version of the Pentateuch from which e«f 
printed text is descended. Scaliger having expressed a wish 
for it, Pietro della Valle procured one, which tie presented to 
M, de Sancy, then French ambassador at the Porte, by whom 
it was presented to the Rev. Fathers of the Congregation of 
the Oratory, called Saint-Honor^. And one of the members, 
P. Morin, thence published it in the Polyglott of le Jaye« 
That distinguished ornament and munificent patron of learning, 
Abp.IJssher, to have some of whose blood circulating in my own 
veins is no small boast, lays claim to the merit of having had 
the first copies of the Samaritan edition of the Hebrew Text 


has been moved, respectmg the origin of tbe 
Septuaghkt version ; it admits of no dispute, that 
it was intended for the use of Jewish proselytes^ 
and was composed with a view to its circulatiott 
among the heathen.*^^ The person, who of all an*' 
tiquity, was best qualified, from his critical attain- 
ments, to pronounce upon tbe merits of this work ; 
has given the authors of it the credit, of having 
accommodated their translation to the prejudices 
of the ethnic reader ; and the Jews themselves have 
pleaded guilty to this imputation.*^ In the vin- 

brought into Europe, of which he presented eopies to Oxford, 
JLeyden, and Sir Kob. Cotton : see his Dissert, on the Septua- 
gint. E.avis*s Dedic. to his Disc, on the Orient. Tongues. Todd*9 
Life of Walt Vol. I. p. 184. n. «. 

4^ The account of Aristeas, though generally reeeired 
among the Jews, and early Ghristiansy and partiaHy admitted 
by Aristobulus, Philo Judaeus and Josephus, as well as Justin, 
(jleiQens Alexatidrinus, Irenaeus, Cyrillus Hieoros. Eusubius^ 
and Epiphanius ; That the Greek version was made by seventy 
Jews, for Ptolemy PhiladelfAus, at the su^estioti of his librar 
nan, Demetrius Phalareus, is now given up^ by the leamedi; 
as a fable. The credit of the story of Aristeas, was attacked. 
by St. Jerome, with his accustomed zeal and spirit ; and the 
merit of the version itself reduced to its proper level, in the 
coBtroversal writings of that learned lather* The questioK is 
diffusively handled, l^ Abp. Ussher, Dr. Hody and others; the 
substance of it may be seen in Dr. Holmes's Prolegomeqa to 
the Septuagint, and Mt. Faucon's Praeliminaria to the Hexa« 
pla. Judging from the internal evidence of the version, it was 
obviously made by different hands, and most probably at diSe-' 

«1^ St. Jerome, speaking of this version, observes, Praef. far 
Peutateuch. '* In quibus multa de veteri Testamento legimus, 
quae in nostris codicibus non habentut. • • .Causas errons non 
estmeum exponere, Judcn prudenti factum dicanf esse eonMio: 
ne Ptolemaeus unius Dei caltor, etiam apud Hebrseos dupticem 
divinitatem deprehenderet. Quod maxime idcirco faciebant 
quia in Platonis dogma cadere videbatur. Denique ubicumqae 
sacratum aliquid Scriptura testatur de Patre et Pilio et Spiritu 
SanctO; aui aliter intefpretaH sunt, aut amnino tacuerwnt, ut et 



dication, likewise, which they have offered for 
the unwarrantable licence that they have taken 
with the inspired text, it is fully implied, that 
as they had violated its integrity, on points of doc- 
trine, when a particular object was in view ; they 
would not much respect it, in matters of chrono- 
logy, when a like end was to be answered. Such 
causes having operated in prepossessing the Sa- 
maritans in favor of their hereditary chronology ; 
and inducing the Hellefiists to conciliate the eth- 
nic prejudices, on the side of their national histo- 
ry : it may. be now left to the internal evidence to 
decide, how far the sacred chronology may have 
suffered in its integrity, from the predominant 
influence of the Chaldee science. 

The saros, by which the Chaldees computed 
the period elapsed between the creation and de- 
luge, has been already mentioned, as a term 
equivocal in its sense, and capable of different 
values. Of the different lengths assigned to this 
ancient measure of time, two have been noticed 
in which it has been converted into periods of 
months and days : and according to the former, the 
space of time, computed by the Chaldees, between 
the creation and deluge, has been estimated at 2222 
years, and according to the latter at 1200.*'^ 

regi satisfacerent, et arcanum fidei non vulgarent. £t nescio 
quis primtis auctor Septuaginta cellulas Alexandriae mendacio 
suo extruxerit, quibus divisi scriptitarunt : cum Aristseas ejus- 
dem Ptolemaei virt^a(rTirn<;f et multo post tempore Josephus, 
nil tale retulerint, sed in una basilica congregatos contulisse 
scribant non propbetasse.'* 

478 Vid. supr. p. 220. n. *^*. Bp. Pearson, in claiming a 
third sense for the term saros, supplies a defect in the printed 
copies of Suidas, by the following passage, from a ms. in the 

Vatican ; ** o* ya^^xf <ra^oi voita-iv iviocvltiq ^cx^, xara riv KecX^ocluf 
i^l/^^ov, uvep (Toi^oq wouT {xvivoc.^ QiXriviaxuv a-xp , o? yivovran *»j' hiacvrot 

xj /A^vE? U" which he thus translates, '* Saros, according to the 



When these numbers are compared with the 
Correspondent dates 2242 and 1307 ascribed to 
the same interval, in the Septuagint and Sama- 
ritan ; without making any allowance for the 
possibility of an error in the numbers,*^^ the coin- 
cidence must be admitted to amount to a very 
strong presumption, that the Septuagint and the 
Samaritan, in their deviations from the Hebrew, 
have suffered from the influence of the Chaldee. 

The case of the Septuagint can merit little fur- 
ther attention ; as we find the ancients, who had 
no suspicion of an error in that version, so fully 
impressed with the identity of the sums in the 
Greek and Chaldee account, that they express 
them by the same denomination .'*®^ It is perfectly 

Chaldee account, comprehends 222 months, which come to 18 
years and 6 months ; therefore 120 saroi make 2220 [2222] 
years :' and therefore for 0crxj9', I read, leaving out the last p, 
Pa-iCy that is, 2220." But this emendation will not cure the 
passage, since it appears, the octodecennial cycle of the Chal- 
dees'fell short of the decemnovennial of Meton, but 12 luna- 
tions, and of course, consisted of 223 months ; and as the con-* 
text is constant in retaining |3, the last unit, I cannot acquiesce 
in the expediency of this correction. The ancient Fathers, who 
knew less of the Chaldee lunar saros than ourselves, were not 
infallible in their computations ; and are constant in adding the 
2 years to the saros, which are cut off by this emendation. , 

^^ It must be however observed, that I have adopted 2242, 
as the proper computation of the Septuagint ; this being the 
number which is given by the ancient Fathers : thus Theophilus 
'Antiochenus, observes, uti supr. p. 138. avo itlta-suq x6a-iJM.saq 
xalaxXvo-fAd, iysvotlo trn 0<Tyi.0\ * from the creation of the world to 
the deluge there were 2242 years.' And the same remark may 
be made of the writers before us ; as of Suidas, voc. 'A^^tjx. and 
Cosmas, uti supr. p. 224. n:^7i. The authors of the Ancient 
History ,^yol. I. p. 223. in their comparison of the Hebrew and 
Septuagint chronology, follow Cappel, in admitting this to be 
the scripture number. 

^^ Thus Cosmas, who devotes a large portion of his work 
to astronomical subjects, gives 2242 as the common expressioii 


insigniiicant, as to the result of tjbiese observaiioiis, 
whether the Hellenic authors of the Septuagiat, 
aad the Feathers of the Church were right in their 
eoinputations. It is i^ufficieat for my purpose, 
that those who possessed the greatest astronomi- 
cal and chronological skill, were agreed upon 
tiie ixkntijty of the numbers, which were employed 
in Ihe Greek aod jCbaldee ;^ and what is of the 
last impoTtance to the establishment of that 
resubt^ hm^ so far admitted the inilueace of 
the latter, a^ th^y have established their own 
u^curacyy by ^W appeal to its authority* 

The case of ithe Siamaritoaius appears to me to be 
not les« cleair jand decisive. Finding the period 
of 120 sari, ascribed to tjijie ten reigns of the ante^ 
diluvian princes ; and deriving the Chaldee term 
from ^"^v, signifyifig iew, in their vernacular, <pf 
from \sa:^y with the stame signification, in thetr pa* 
ternal language; they might deduce the product of 
1209 by a«ijiipAer process, than it is effected ia 

ft^e 'Greek aod OhaUke 0itm ; ^mtiJ^ ^ ^ulietUujbiom s^ 
years for days «i the computsilAQo^ of ibe IftMe^, whil« ^ ra^i^^ 
fhem to fliynads ; Ofin. de Muod. utji^n p. .340. s-^f ia^Mpf^; 

years, ikey saad die Jtea km%9 ihsdjtMS^ wfJ^^i^ f>( ymrs; 
as Moses oumbered 22^ years fr<m 444f^^'t|ie.4«b)g^^ 

.4ei lifais, ft kasiMenfiSieiiqi wasith^ ic^s^ fifCmm^, ^'bose mi- 
tronomficait io^jmiaflioB, was adeaiM^ eqiia} to ^y pf the priivgi*- 
tive Faih^rs. And <tbe aame nay >bie .^liiftd .^f The9|pfii)ttS| fi ^cio^r 
^ert'frem Pa^vMi, and bishop of AMu^, W^i^^ fc)ira«(4ogjr 
«al attainmeiitSy ^wece iiot4surpassed» bf" .anjr pf |ii^ A^ut<»iiipArar 
•rfes or predecessois. W^iile :be ooi[|fW.WiJtbe iptcir^id bcyt^lfB^p 
"the crea^QQ •and4elug^, at #242 yeairs, ifae wm^ Itbe l^ep;^^ 
coincidence of his calculations, and those gf S^fij^^ns^ jjLib. ij.J^ 

-ad fin. ^rt ^i ff-epi '4* fi^t/MAy ^XJfWMV Cf^oSf* f^ J^nfH&h ^ -ftf^^^KLaX" 



our arithmetic ; their notation merely requiring a 
point over the character, while ours requires the 
addition of a cypher.'*®^ We have now, there- 
fore, only to compare this computation of the 
length of the ten antediluvian princes' reigns, 
with that ascribed to the ten patriarchs in their 
scheme of chronology, to be convinced of their 
extraordinary coincidence. If the period ascribed 
to Noah, be calculated, strictly after the analogy 
of the ten Chaldee princes^ or after that of the nine 
preceding Patriarchs — from the time of his becoming 
a father ; 100 years must be subducted, from the 
period when he entered the Ark, and of course 
from the epoch of the deluge. For, according to 
the text and version of the Samaritans them- 
selves;^^ ^^ Hi odh y^2i^ five hundred years o\A] and 
he begat Shem, Ham and Japhet : . . .And Noah 
was siji; hundred years old, when the flood of 
waters was upon the earth." On deducting this 

^* Thus the numerals in the phrase, «d . *»^v . expressing 
120 decads, are raised to 1200, by merely putting a point over 

the characters, ^^ expressing 1200, These numbers it may be 
be observed, facilitated the change which was thus made, from 
the duodecimal computation of the Chaldees, who made the 
saros 12 years, to the decimal, in which, as here, it is merely 

inade 10 years : .«^. 12 being raised by points to -*->v 120 ; 
which equally expresses ten times 12, or twelve times 10. 

*®3 The age of Noah at the birth of Japhet, in perfect con-, 
formity with the Hebrew, Gen. v. 32. mw ni«D tt^Dn p, * a 
^on c^Jive hundred years ;' is expressed in the Hebraeo- Samari- 
tan text, my>^ AtiV»tt w*iaXl !^^, and Samaritan version, 

KA^ ;^iVt»tt w^aYJ ^a, with the same sense. His age, at 
the beginning of the deluge, in like'manner, is given in the He- 
brew, lb. vii. 6. r\W nife^D tt^tt^ t^» ' ^ son of six hundred years ;* 

in the Hebraeo-Samaritan, ^%^ A^^iV^ ^»^ iS ; and the Sa- 
maritan version, ^A*** l^i^^iiJ AA ^S, with the same signifi- 
cation. Nor is there any variation from these dates in the 
mother oriental versions. 

H h 


isum, from the 1307 years, computed by their 
chronology to the deluge; their remains 1207, 
which differs but seven years, from the 1200, de- 
duced by their interpretation, from the 120 sari 
of the Chaldee computation. 

Nor is this view of their mode of computings 
merely hypothetical ; but founded, like the pre- 
ceding, on the express authority of the ancients. 
If the number 432000,^ which they have assigned 
to the length of 120 sari, be taken, as they pre- 
scribe, in the sense of days instead of yearSi and 
the term of the ancient year be adopted ifl the 
computation; 1200 years will prove the precise^ 
sum ascribed by the Chaldees,*^ to their antedilu- * 

^^ I have already shewn, how it is possible, the namber^ 
432000 dayfii, (from which 1200 years have been deduced, a4 
below, n. *^) might have originated in the 4320 days, which 
conii(titttte f Ae proper Chaldee saros of 12 years: via. supr. p. 

222. n, 4^. Thus the characters, -A\ /. expressing 4320, by 
a very slight variation of the points, become «£xLZ» 432000: 

vid.Michael. Gram. Syr. § iv. p. 12. So that ^^\/ _a^cu> by 
simply varying the points, ttiight be equally employed to ex- 
press 4320 days, or 432000 years. By the latter expression, 
Alexander Polybistor might have been imposed upon ; from 
whom the error is adopted by Etisebius. 

^^ I shall again refer, 6n this subject, to the learned Bp. of 
Chester : following Scaliger, he observes, Exp. of Creed, uti 
supr. p. 68. '* In the fragment of Abydenus, preserved by £u- 
sebius, Sa^o^ it lr*» i(Ak6(ryot t^ r^tc^i'Kvot ttn ; ' every saros is 
3600 years;' and consequently the 120 saroi, belonging to the 
reign of the ten kings, 432'000 years. . .neither was this the in- 
terpretation only of Eusebius, but also of Alexander Polyhis- 
tor, who likewise expresseth, rlf^ovQv t?? PaQiTisiotq avrSv o-u^Bq 

This seemed so highly incredible, that two ancient monks, 
Anianus and Pandonis, interpreted those Chaldean years to 
be days, so that every saros should consist of 3600 days," &c. 
^^ I shall give the application of the pr^eding interpreta- 
tion, in the words of M. de Vignolles, uti supr, p* 629* '* A 


Vian princes' reigns ; as 1207 is that ascribed, by 
the Samaritans, to the antediluviani patriarchs' 
ages, at the birth of Japhet, the first son of Noah. 
As far, therefore, as a coincidence between the 
Chaldee and Samaritan rate of computing the age 
of the ten personages, who preceded the deluge, 
implies a proof of the one having had an influence 
upon the other ; I cannot see on what reasonable 
principle it is possible to dispute it. 

It would be an abuse of time to employ any 
further arguments in proving, that, in the t^tm» 
2242 and 1200 years, deduced from the 12Q isari, 
^which the Chaldees assigned to the reigns of their 
antediluvian princes, originated the periods of 
2242 years computed by the Septuagint, from the 
creation; and of 1207 years, ai^cribed by the 
Samaritans to the patriarchal ages, by which 
the course of time was calculated to the deluge. 
And to the two leading dates, which were 
thus fixed, it may be now summarily observed, 
the entire chronological scheme of both systems 
lias been obviously accommodated. 

The Septuagint having brought down the epoch 
of the deluge nearly 1000 years ; as the interval 
from the creation was divided, by the lives of the 
patriarchs into ten parts; the period was thus 
easily filled up, by a century added to each of 
their ages. But the great age of Methuselah, 
which terminated in the year of the flood, was of 
an extent too unmanageable, to be thus moulded 
at the will of the undertaker* By the period, for 

360 jours, qy| selon moi font une aaa^e juste, ajo&tez simple* 
laent un zero, vous aurez 3600 jours, qui valent up ssire« dgal 
k 10 anuses prects^ent. Ee^ at tous muitipliez cez deux 
nombres par 120 sares; vous aurez pour le dernier nonibre 
432*000 jottr«, dooton avoit voulA fairs autant d'aunees; quoi' 
que Us nef assent qtie 1200 anntes justes" 

H h 2 


which it was prolonged, it was unluckily extended 
fourteen years beyond the time of the deluge ;^ 
in which the whole earth, except Noah and his 
family, were, even on its own authority, stated to 
have perished.*® And thus the contrivers of this 
system were drawn into an error, which would 
be suflScient to demolish the credit of their work, 
were it exposed to no other objection. 

The Samaritans, it would appear, went more 
cautiously to work. With the life of Noah, as so 
well known, it became wholly unsafe to tamper : 
in the various innovations of the different chrono- 
logical systems, it has accordingly escaped unal- 
tered. But in following their Chaldee progeni- 
tors, they fixed the birth of Japhet, Noah's first 
son, 1207 years from the creation; hence, as the 
deluge occurred, 100 years after his nativity,^ 
1307 became its epoch, in the system of their 
chronology. It was thus antedated above 300 
years ; and we accordingly find this sum subduct- 
ed from the lives of the three first patriarchs, 
preceding the flood, which admitted of reduction : 

' ^^ Though some of the copies of the Septuagint have been 
corrected from the Hexaplar Hebrew ; there is not the least 
ground of doubt, that this blunder is coeval with the date of 
the version. St. Jerome thus delivers himself, on the subject. 
Quaest. in Genes, v. III. p. 453. ** Famosa quaestio, et dispu- 
tatione omnium ecclemarum ventilata, quod, juxta diligentem 
supputationem, quatuordecim annos post diluvium Mathusela 
yixisse referatur. . . . Sexcentesimo autem anno vitas Noe dilu- 
vium factum est, ac per hoc, habita supputatione per partes, 
nongentesimo quinquagesimo quinto anno Mathusala, diluvium 
fuisse convincitur. Cum autem supra nongentis sexagintanovem 
annis vixisse sit dictus, nulli dubium est quatuordecim eum an- 
nas vixisse post diluvium, et quo modo verum est, quod octo 
tantum animae in area salvae factae sunt ? Conf. Euseb. Chron. 
Graec. p. 4. 
«8 Gen. vii. 4. 21, 22. f^ Vid. supr. p. 233. n.«^ 





isome other arrangements being made, apparently 
with the view of making the life of Methuselah 
terminate at the deluge. 

The chronological schemes of the Septuagint 
sand Samaritan, must be, of course, abandoned, as 
of no authority ; having palpably suffered from the 
influence of the Chaldee science. Nor can any 
use be made of either system, in calculating the 
period computed by the Chaldees, between the 
deluge and Babylonian era ; as the principles, on 
which they have been altered, are arbitrary and 
uncertain. The confirmation which they afford 
the Hebrew, in respectively bearing testimony to 
the accuracy of its dates, has been already no- 
ticed ;^ and mention has been incidentally made 
of the corroboration, which the latter system 
equally receives from the Chaldee chronology, in 
the determination of the epoch of the Assyrian 
empire. '*^^ Of this system, it is however observa- 
ble, that though it derives no support from the 
Egyptian computation, in the epoch which it as- 
signs to the deluge ;^ it has fully established its 
consistency, as a system, in referring that epoch 
to an earlier period, than it is assigned in the 
Hebrew. To the dates which are assigned to its 
earliest monarchs, who reigned after the flood, it 
has been objected, that they precede the period 
when it really happened.*®^ But this is only true, 

W Vid. supr. p. 227. ^^ Ibid. p. 218. 

W Vid. supr. p. 219. n. ^. The coincidence stated by Be- 
' rosus, to have subsisted between the Chaldee and Egyptian 
computations of the period before the deluge, is strictly confined 
to the year at which they began their respective calculations. 
Though it thus clearly appears, that they agreed in fixing the 
- epoch of the creation ; nothing is determined as to their coinci- 
dence respecting the date of the deluge. 

^^_ By Helyicus, whose views on the subject were more just 


when its epoch is computed, according to the He* 
brew system : though the line of Assy ria^. princes 
precedes the epoch of the deluge, by 11 years, 
according to this scheme, it comes 207 years 
lower than that assigned it in the Chaldee. The 
Septuagint and the Samaritan schemes are equal- 
ly unaffected by this objection ; both antedating 
the deluge to the accession of Belus, the earliest 
monarch.^ And I am wholly mistaken, or we 

than those of his predecessors, this objection ki thus stated : 
Tab. ChroD, uti snpr. p. 5. g. ** Nos e multis duas potissimum 
diyersas supputationes proposuimus. Una est African!, qui 
omnes reges Assyriacos e yeteribus autoribus recenset, quamvis 
series ilia supra Diluvium exourrat. Bum 8caliger quoque se- 
cutus est." It has been however objected to Scaiiger, that he 
aggravates the evil, by adding 25 years to the reigns of those 
kings, above the period assigned to them, in his author : yid. 
Vignol. uti supr. Lib. IV. ch. iv. § 3. p. 166. following Afri- 
canus, this last mentioned chronologist, ib. p. 163. places the 
accession of Belus, A. J. P. 2366. corresponding to A. M • 
^645, which precedes the epoch of the deluge, A. M. 1656. 
just 11 years. In tiie tables of Helvicus, his accession is 
brought two years lower. 

^* The earliest epoch of the Assyrian empire, like their first 
monarch, is purely fabulous ; and, I am of opinion, like the date 
of the deluge, was founded on the doctrine of the Great Year: 
vid. supr. p. 148. The line is drawn between the fabulous and 
the historical period by Castor^ who is followed by Eusebius : 
yid. Syncel. p. 206. He places Belus at the head of the cata- 
logue of the Assyrian kings ; but declares his ignorance of the 
•length of hb reign, and expressly commences his chronology 
from Ninus. The manner in which the fabulous period has 
been grafted on the historical, and the whole rounded i«to a 
period of 1460 yeajB« may be learned bom the following speci- 
men of the coune pursued by Justin ; Vignel. iKti supr. p« 194. 
^ Justin £nit sod extrait par ces paroles; * In^rium JUsyrii, 
qui poatea Byri dkti sunt, miUe ireeesUis (mmi$ tenuere.' Con- 
riognnis ciiant ce passage dit que Troge Pomp^ s acoordoit 
avec Oteaias ; ' nais ^iie son abbreviateur, Justin, a'4criyoit 
que le nombre rond de 1800* en n^igeot les 60\ • • *Or ^owMie 
Jfnstim nejmviapas de BSlms: et ne marque «i le tems oji Ninus 
fut maitre de 1' Orient; ni la duree de son r^gne ; si an Vy joint 


thus arrive at the true cause, by which the con- 
structers of those systems were influenced, in de- 
ranging the entire system of the sacred chronolo- 
gy : the epoch assigned the deluge, in the He- 
brew scheme, having been irreconcilable with the 
early reigns ascribed the first Assyrian monarchs, 
it was deemed necessary to correct it by the 
Chaldee account; from which the epoch con- 
ceived to be true, was accordingly adopted. 

Though the entire scheme of the Septuagint and 
Samaritan chronology must be consequently given 
up, and the computation of the Chaldees resigned^ 
as far as respects the epoch of the deluge ; yet 
even, in regard to this date, the credit of theii* 
calculations is, in a great measure redeemed, by 
one consideration. I have already observed, on 
the testimony of Berosus, that they implicitly 
agreed with the Egyptians, in fixing the epoch of 
the creation ; it is now to be observed, that how- 
ever they might have differed both from them 
and the Hebrews, as to f^ year in which the 
deluge occurred ; it appears, that they wep6 no 
strangers, as to the day^ from whence the com- 
*mencement of it was to be computed. The 
tradition which they preserved on this subject^ 
and which is recorded by Berosus and Abydenus, 
the most highly reputed of the Assyrian and 
Chaldee historians,^ is the more valuable from a 

avec celle de BSlus, imph^, on amv nne dntie de plus de 1460 

^^ Whaston, following Lan^os de Ann. Christ, p. 2§d. 6b« 
derves, Theor. of the Earth. B. III. di. it. § xlix. " This Ta*t 
fall of waters, or forty days rai», began on the sixth day of the 
week, on Friday the 2df^ of Naven^er, being the setfeKteeiitk 
day of the 2nd month from the antmn/nal equinox. • • • [Gen. vii^ 
11.] * In the six hundredth year of Noah's Hfe, in the wc&nA 
month f the seventeenth day of the month, . • .the windows rf faea^ 


slight discrepancy which is discoverable between 
it, and that transmitted by the Egyptians and He- 
brews, between whose accounts there was a per- 
fect conformity. For upon this difference, between 
their testimony and that of those early nations, 
they may be convicted, not merely of having an- 
tedated the epoch of the deluge, but for the inter- 
val precisely, that it was put back, according to 
the computation of the Hebrew chronology. 

The Babylonian era being fixed in the year of 
the world 1770, and the deluge referred, to the 
year 1440; these dates are separated by an inter- 
val of 330 years. This period, however, was per- 
formed by the ancient year, in four revolutions of 
the cycle of 72 years, and 42 years, precisely. 
Now as the beginning of the ancient year, from 
the annual loss of five days, retrograded, in 42 

yen were opened, and the rain was upon the earth forty days 
and forty nights.' Thus Abydenus and Berosus say it began 
on the \hth day of Desius, the second month from the vernal 
equinox ; which if the mistake, (arising, 'tis probable, from the 
ignorance of the change in the beginning of the year, at the £x- 
odusput of Egypt, or perhaps from the copiers alone, by putting 
DesitLs instead of Dius, which was the second month from, the 
autumnal equinopc) be but corrected, it is within a day or two^ 
agreeable to the narration of Moses ^ and so exceedingly con- 
firms the same. Thus also, what is still more remarkable, 
Plutarch tells us, that Osiris, or Noah, went into the Ark, 
exactly on the VI th day of the month Athyr, in which the sun 
passes through the sign Scorpius, on the very same llth day of 
the second month from the autumnal equinox, which we here 
assign, and which the sacred history asserts ; as we have already 
seen." Ibid. B. IV. § Ixxvi. *• So wonderful is the method of 
the Divine Wisdom, in its seasonable attestations afforded 
to the Sacred Scriptures ! That not only the very day, as we. 
have seen, when the Flood began, assigned by Moses, may 
still, after more than four thousand years, be proved, not only 
from Plutarch's express testimony, but from astronomy itself, 
to have been the true one ; which the learned are chiefly capablQ 
of judging of, and being primarily influenced by," 



y^ars, exactly 210 days, which form 7 months; 
hence the days of the months of A. M. 1770, 
must have fallen 7 months earlier in the year, than 
the correspondent days of A. M, 1440. As in 
the order of the Macedonic year, Dius precedes 
Desius so many- months ;*^*^ the 15th day of the 
former month, at the earlier epoch, fell precisely on 
the same day of the year, as the 15th of the latter 
month, at the later epoch.. If therefore, Dius 16th 
marked the proper day, according: to the Mace- 
donian calendar, on which the deluge commenced ; 
Desius 15th must have equally marked the proper 
day, according to the ancient form of moveable 
year, which was in use, at the era of the deluge. 
Between the Assyrian account of Berosus and 
Abydenus^ who have dated the deluge from this 
day, and the Egyptian, preserved by Plutarch, 
there is consequently no real difference, as to the 

^ The nanf^s and .length of the Macedonic months, i^hich 
the .Oreeb introduced into the East, and the number of days 
ascribed to e^h^ yrhen reduced. to Julian time, may be here sta- 
ted fiont the Rodttlphine Tables of Kepler : 1, Dius, 30 ; 2. Ap* 
pellaevs^ dO iZi Aiidunseiis,Sl ; 4. Peritiua» 30 ; 5. Dystrus, 30 ; 
6. XaiitluciMi, 3*1 ; 7< Artemisius^ 31 ; 8. Dcesiua. 30 ; 9. Pane- 
was, 31 ; 10.^JiOuS| 80; 11. Oorpiaeus, 31 ; 12. Hyperberetseus, 
30. If to tte 15 unexpired days of Dius, be — added 183d. the 
sum of the daya of the six following months, from Apellaeus to 
Ail»mi8ilia4tichlsftTe^-MUid X^ days, of D<mu»:r—i}iie amount of 
the^whol^wiU«be«2ia-dayj..M But. QO.. reducing each, of those 
mmite^tO'^aOdaysv the length of the months in. the year of 360 
dayfl7dke'nfCffi66r^.da3fc^u?ee7i J!>iiw 15£ft^ andJOcesiMS ihthy 
c^iimfftfft preakebi tB 210; <^ 7 - mimihs of 30 dam. Daesius be- 
fiDg/tha^.^eoond' months ;Astemeaiu8. is the first, and as it has 31 
dayai^ if tfie Ittfltiisrcomputody Daesiu^i 15t)[i will ^e the 16th day 
of died9^aiid'iiM>Btib4.w4iich> allowing for a difference of copi- 
puting from night and mornings may be iidentified with Moses's 
** 17th.:da3rf of thei 2ttdr.«K>nth;4 vid. infr. p. 242. n. ^. . On 
tb^fean ttf the^ryeai,^ see^ AUin^ Diss^.on Anc. Year. p. 144- 
Vignoi. Dis^rtk, tovch. I'An* Anc. p. 623. Whiston, Theor. 
B. II. p. 202. Ussher. l)iss. de An. Maced, 

I i 






dai/ of the year; nor more than the accidental 
difference, arising from the form of year, by which 
they have respectively computed.'*^ While the 
transfer of the date in the Chaldee account, seven 
months later in the year, conveys so far a proof,, 
that they antedated the deluge 330 years, to the 
Babylonian epoch ; as the 16th day of the second 
month from the autumnal e.quinox, at which the. 
year began, after four revolutions of the cycle of 
72 years, retrograded, in that time, 210 days^ 
and so passed from the 15th of Dius to the 15th 

. ^^ As Berosus and Abydenua flourished, after the era of 
Nabonasar was adopted by the Chaldees ; they obviously, not 
less than Plutarch, used the equated year of 365 days, which 
was exclusively employed in that era : vid. supr. p. 197. n. i^, 
Mr. Allin, referring to Syncellus, observes; uti supr. p. 144. 
'* The additional five days, even among the Egyptians, one of 
the most ancient and learned nations of the world, were not 
added to the 360 days, or 12 months of 30 days apiece, of 
which their year consisted, but were introduced about a th&u- 
'sand years after the Deluge : so that till that time their ancient 
year appears to have had no more than 360 days. This argu- 
ment, from the later introduction of the Jive additional days^ 
receives some confirmation from the place they always posses* 
sed in the year, after they were introduced tfi the Egyptian^ 
and thence in the Nabonasarean form.^' Though the new form 
of year was thus recently introduced ; the period of 1460 years, 
which is its proper cycle, and from whence the Babylonian 
epoch was dated, sufficiently proves, that latterly the Assyrians 
employed this form of year, in computing from the early epoch 
of their empire : vid. supr. p. 148. n. ^^, et ^^, In determining 
a date, like that of the deluge, previons to that epoch, the ambu- 
latory year of 360 days was properly used by Berosus; though 
as writing in Greek, he naturally adopted the names giyeit 
to the months by the Macedonians, from whom the Orien- 
talists received the calendar, with the knowledge of the lan- 
guage in which he expressed himself. 

^^ This argument may be more familiarly illustrated. The 
difference of the time interving between the epoch of the de- 
luge 1440, and the Babylonian era, 1770, as fixed by the 


But it is further deserving of remark, that while 
they thus antedated the year of the deluge, they 
still preserved the tradition of the day on which it 
really commenced. For the fictitious epoch ha- 
ving been put back, precisely three revolutions of 
the cycle of 72 years, from the true date ; both 
years had their days ordered precisely alike, as the 
proper order is restored, at each revolution of 
the cycle.*^ The caution with which all these 
ipoints were thus nicely adjusted, is therefore, a 
sufficient evidence of the artifice, which was em- 
ployed ; as so much care would have bieen wholly 
superfluous had no change been attempted. For 
the Chaldees, not less than the Egyptians, could 
have determined the epoch of the deluge, by the 

Chaldees, amounted to 330 years. This p'eriod when divided 
by 72, the number of years in a cycle of the ancient year, con- 
sisting of 360 days, leaves a remainder of 42 years, above 288, 
the sum of the years of 4 cycles. If this remainder is multipli- 
ed by 5, the number of days which were lost every year, and 
which, of course, the beginning of the year went back annually, 
until the cycle was completed : the product 210 will express 
the number of days which it retrograded in 42 years from its 
commencement. And this product divided by 30, the number 
of days in an ancient month, gives the quotient 7, expressing 
the number of months, whi^h the beginning of the year retro- 
graded in 330 years, or 4 cycles and 42 years, of the civil year, 
in use at the time of the deluge. 

* '*W The Deluge, according to the Chaldee computation, was 
antedated 216 years, to the epoch assigned it in the Hebrew 
.chronology ; which period is completed in three revolutions of 
the cycle of 72 years ; vid. supr. p. 225. The epoch, A. M. 
1656, to which it was thus referred in the Hebrew, was dis- 
tant from the Babylonian epoch, A. M. 1770, just 114 years: 
which was completed in one revolution of the cycle, and 42 
years. As in 42 years, the beginning of the year retrograded 
210 days, or 7 months ; such must have been the difference be- 
tween the days of the months, in A. M. 1656, and A. M. 
1770 : so that, if computed by the ancient form of year, DcBsim 
'15th, in the one, must have expressed the same day of the year, 
as Dius Xbth in the other. 

, li 2 





proper day of the ordinary year; had not the 
transfer of it, to an earlier period, required that 
every circumstance should be accurately accom- 
modated to an intentional alteration. For that 
they put it back, unquestionably appears from 
the line of their .early monarchs, which ranged 
some years above the true epoch. It is therefore 
almost needless to enter a protest against the 
supposition, which may possibly arise; that the 
year which they accommodated with so accurate 
a date, was that in which the deluge really hap-r 

However therefore it might have been requisite 
to the purposes of the Chaldee science, that the 
deluge should be placed at the distance of a Great 
Year from the creation ; it is not the less apparent, 
that they computed the interval right that inter- 
vened between the earlier epoch and the Babylo- 
nian era. In the relative knowledge which we 
may polssess of any period of time, our positive 
ignorance of the date of any event, by no means 
implies, that we are the less acquainted with the 
interval, within which the series of occurrences is 
included, of which it is an incident. To borrow 
a familiar illustratien from our own lives, there are 
few persons who do not exactly know the period, 
elapsed since the year of their birth ; and perhaps 
as few, who without referring to collateral evi- 
dence, could directly trace, even the important 
incidents of any year, to the precise date, on 
which they happened. But the Chaldees could 
not have been ignorant of the true epoch of the 
deluge. The remembrance of that great catastro* 
phe was impressed by the most powerful associa- 
tions, upon the memory of the primitive world : and 
its derangement, in the Chaldee chronology, is ob- 
viously not to be imputed to the effect of igno- 



rance^ or iBadvert^Qce> bat of principle and system. 
Their ignorance, of the true year in which it 
happened, if, in fact, it were reconcilable with their 
knowledge of the day, on which it occurred^ 
would not be easily reconciled with l&e characters 
impressed by them, on the fictitious epoch, to 
which they transferred it; all of which were 
peculiarly accommodated to the interval, to which 
it appears it was removed, from the proper epoch. 

Having thus far disengaged this intricate' sub^ 
ject, from the embarrassment, in which it is invol- 
ved ; and acquired a just notion of the leading e^ 
pochs pf Chaldee chroi^ology, as well as ascertain- 
ed an accurate scale by wluch it may be measur- 
ed ; we# have now little difficulty to encounter, in 
bringing it to bear upon the subject. 

The object to which I am engaged, requires 
it to be proved, that the Assyrians, who formed 
the expectation of a Great Deliverer, had attained 
the knowledge, that he would appear, at the time 
distinguished by our Lord's advent. And so simr 
pie and efficacious is the measure of time, which 
they have established, in the old and new era of 
Babylon; by which they computed the interval 
elapsed, from the foundation of their empire- under 
Ninus, and its restitution under Nabonasar : that 
no skill is required, in accomplishing that end, by 
so simple and adequate an instrument. At the 
equally remarkable epoch, distinguished by the 
4sub version of the Persian, and foundation of the 
Macedonian empire, we find the chain united, by 
which the time of the surrender of Babylon, after 
the battle of Arbela, is connected, on the one 
side, with the epoch of the foundation of the As- 
syrian empire; and on the other, with the period 
of the capture of Alexandria, after the battle of 
Actium. And by a very few links, this period 


may be connected with the epoch, which it is the 
object of these researches to investigate. 

On the accuracy of the scale, which is thus sup- 
plied, by the old and new era of Babylon, for meas- 
uring this period, it will be sufficient to observe, that 
every part of it is connected with the astronomi- 
cal observations of the nation, which first devoted 
itself to the cultivation of that science. The ac- 
count of these observations, obtained at Babylon 
by Callisthenes, is the great mean by which we 
are enabled to ascertain the epoch of the early 
era, and compute the time elapsed between the 
rise of the Assyrian, and fall of the Persian em- 
pire. The later era, termed from Nabonasar, by 
which we are enabled to compute the distance 
from that epoch, to the time of our Lord's advent, 
from having been employed in registering the an- 
cient eclipses, has its correctness determined by 
those astronomical characters, which leave no 
doubt of its accuracy. And this conclusion re- 
ceives a practical proof, in the extraordinary cor- 
rectness, with which we find several dates, some 
of the remotest antiquity, fixed to the day; of 
which so striking an example has been furnished, 
in the epoch of the deluge, and of Alexander's 
entrance into Babylon ;^ two dates, the determi- 

*>o Vid. supr. p. 210. n. ^. p. 242. n. W. As these two 
periods have been apparently computed, by the ancient year, 
though the equable year was in use in the age of the computers, 
and even appli<>d to those epochs, as I have already had occa- 
sion to observe ; it is highly probable, that this form of year was 
commonly adopted by the Chaldees, in calculating the ficti- 
tious epochs, which they introduced into their chronolgy. In 
the preference shewn by them to the ancient year, they were 
probably decided, by the facilities which it afforded to long cal- 
culations : and very convincing evidence is brought out, by Mr. 
Allin's inquiry into the nature of the ancient year, that they 
were guided by such a preference. Even of the equable year, 


1 ■■■fc^i a- »■*— 



nation of which, is of the last importance to the 
final result of the computation which engages me. 
Although the astonishment which may be ex- 
cited, and possibly, the incredulity which may 
be raised, at a degree of accuracy so extraordina- 
ry, must subside, when the method, employed in 
reducing those periods to days, is taken into ac- 
count ; as a simple arithmetical process enabled 
an indifferent calculator, by the facilities which 
were furnished, to an extraordinary degree, by 
their numerical notation, to ascertain the precise 
date of any incident. 

Nor is the accuracy of the scale, by which we 
are enabled to measure this immense period of 
time, more astonishing, than the extraordinary 
facility of its application. To compute the dis- 
tance elapsed between the foundation of the As- 
syrian empire, and the year in which the incarna- 
tion of the expected Deliverer occurred, we re- 
quire merely to know, in what year of the new 
era, the city of Babylon, from which ij derived its 
name, surrendered to the arms of the Macedonian 
conqueror. And this year we find marked, with 
the utmost precision, in the Canon of that era, 

and the people by whom it was discovered, it is observed, by 
that learned writet ; ubi supr. p. 145. " From an ancient tra- 
dition in Plutarch* . .it appears, that the ancient Egyptian year 
was no more than 360 days, and that -#A6 6 epagamence were 
not looked upon as- proper parts, either of the year or any of its 
months ; but as days belonging to the nativities of five several 
Egyptian deities, who, as this ancient piece of mythology sup- 
poses, were to be born neither in aiey year, nor %n any month,^^ 
Whether, as Mr. Whiston observes, Theor. p. 209. this ob- 
servation is applicable to the prophetical calculations also, and 
that " Daniers prophetic Year consisted of 360 days," b a 
point which will be no doubt decided, when public expectation 
is gratified, with the appearance of the learned and acute Abp. 
of Dublin's investigation of that delicate and difficult subject. 


which contains a catalogue of the monarch^, 
through whom the imperial authority was trans^- 
mitted ; from the accession of Nabonasar, under 
whom the Great Year -of the Babylonians com- 
menced, to the death of Antoninus^ in whose reign 
the Great Canicular Cycle of the Egyptians 
ended. As the date of this era, to which the 
Canon refers this remarkable event, ^ coincides 
with its 4i6th year ;^^ we are thiis supplied with 
the means 'of completing liie calculatioit of ther 
four millenniums, which the tonstant traditton of 
the east has computed, between the^period of the 
Creation of the worid, and its Regeneraticm. •. The 
different epochs recognised by the Ai^syrians, its 
composing this period, may be now e^diibitedat 
a view ; 

From the Creation to the Deluge *». .1440 - ' 

From the Deluge to th6 Babylonian; eta .««l... 88* ^ 
From the efA to the capture^ of. Babylcm *>*. . . .1003 
From the capture of Babylon to • the > ^^07 

Gr^t Restitution. i •••••• *^^ 

From the Creation to the Regenemtion*>*. • . •4600^ 

^^ In the Canon o€ the era of, NabonasQx^ of which. I. have 
already spoken, supr. p. 15 1. n. ^*^J the end of Darius's reign 
and the jcommencement of the sovereignty, of Alexander over 
the East^ia thus Noticed ': under th^ title, TlififSv fiuhi^ui. A^-' 
fuHf.i, vir»*AXi^oiviD8 MtKtiovo;, ft, vxi. *'* Persian Kings.' Da- 
xiua, 4 [years]. 416th : Alexander the Macedonian; 8/424th.'* 
pf which numbers/ the first marks the length of the reign, the 
second/ the year of the' era of Nabonasar; in which it ended. 
Having*already determined the year of thie JdIian|period/ S967, 
in which the era. o¥ Nabonasar commeirced;~supr. p. 147. n.^^ 
the epoch' of Alexander's -accession atid entry into Babylon, is 
i|tonce reduced to it, by adding 416, which gives A: JT. P. 
438d( Of thifr epoch use has been already made, in determi- 
ning the, epoch of the old Babylonian iera, by the testimony of 
Callisthenes ; supr. p. 212. n. *«>: 217: n. *»<>; ' 
«>2 Vid. Bupr. p. 222. «^* Ibid. p. 242;^^ 

*^4 lb. p. 211, comp. p; 218. n.^: * ^ lb. p. 172; tt.^: 





The very touchstone of the probability of this 
investigation consequently lies, in the accuracy of 
the result ; whether, the Chaldees, by numbering 
327 years, from that most remarkable epoch, the 
year in which Alexander took possession of Baby- 
lon, would be led, at the close of the fourth mil- 
lennium, to the true year of the advent of our 
Lord. , And this demonstrably appears to be the 
case, from the computations of the ablest chrono- 
logists; by whom the nativity ia placed at this 
identical epoch.*^ Thus, consequently it appears, 

506 Having already cited the authority of P'etavius, on the 
reduction of the first year of the era of Nabonasar, to the pro- 
per year of the Julian period ; I shall again refer to his autho- 
rity in determining the true year of the Nativity. In a pas^ 
sage, in which he not only declares his preference for a pecu- 
liar year, but justifies it, by the application of an argument of 
Scaliger's, which appears to me to amount to a demonstration 
of its truth ; he thus expresses himself. De Doctr. Temp. Lib. 
XXI. vii. ** Sumatur ex diversis de yero Christi natali senten- 
tiis, ea quam cceteris anteponmdamjudicamm, ut anno Jyliano 
41 y qui est per Jul. 4709 natus ntJ* After adding the demon- 
stration, which I shall reserve to be produced at a more suitable 
opportunity* he concludes, lb. '' quo eodem anno, natus est 
Paminus Decembris 25." In the accuracy of which date, Abp. 
Ussher acquiesces : Chron. Sacr. p. 9. who places the true 
epoch in the 4th year before the vulgar era. As we do not 
compute our years from the Nativity and Christmas day, but 
seven days later, from the Circumcision and New-year's day ; 
the true year of the Christian era, by this rule, is Jan. 1st. A. 
J. P. 4710. 3 years 7 days preceding the vulgar era, which 
all chronologists identify with A. J. P. 4714. The same date 
may be established, *on the same authority, by a computation 
founded on the era of Nabonasar and vulgar Christian era. 
The first year of the former, Petasius identifies, supr. p. 147. 
^,835, ^ith the vulgar year, B. C. 747. Of the year of Alex- 
ander's accession to the empire of the east, he likewise ob- 
serves ; Rat^ Temp. I. Lib. III. xlv. ^'Quocirca annus.... 
ante Christ ianarn isram 331 . . • . cladem Persarum ad Arbela 
• . • .tum Pei:^ici finem imperii, et Macedonici, sive Gr^ci in 
oriente primordium attulit.' If, of those years, 331 be sub- 

K k 


that to detonniae the precise year, ia which the 
Expected I^eliverer would make his appearance ; 
tiiey had merely to number, for 327 years, the 
succession of years, from the date 1903, which 
they gave up to Callisthenes, as the epoch of their 
empire, until the sum amounted to the extraordi- 
nary number 2230 : and when the grand period of 
four millenniums was thus compleated, conclude 
that the period of the Great Restitution had arrived. 
Even beyond this ; in the extraordiniary inter- 
val of 2230 years, which, as it appears on the ir- 
refragable grounds of scientific calculation, thus 
precisely intervened, between. the epochs which 
they accommodated to the foundation of their 
empire, and the time of the great consumma- 
tion ; we have additional proof of the validity of 
the^preceding deductions, and of the accuracy of 
the computation, which comprises the whole of 
their calculations within the limits of four millen- 
niums. The interval of 2230 years, at which we 
find the arbitrary epoch they assigned their em- 
pire placed, from the true year of the Great Resti- 
tution, is surely not to be considered merely acci- 
dental. For tiiis period contains the remarkable 
sum of 120 sari, according to the lunar computa- 

ducted from 747 ; the remainder 416, expresses the year of Na- 
bonasar, in which Alexander succeeded to the soverei^ty, <w 
stated in the Canon. If 4, the error in the vulgar Christian 
era, be subducted from the same year 331 ; the remainder 327« 
expresses the number of years, to the true era of Christ, which 
were necessary to complete four miUeniums of the Chaidee 
computation of that epocA, c brought down to the same year 
of Alexanders entrance into Babylon. The accuracy of .the 
date, assigned to this event, it may be necessary to observe, is 
fully confirmed by Abp. Ussher, who fixes it, A, J. P. 4383. 
Annal.p. 314. al. 175 ; to which, if the above remainder, 327, be 
added ; it gives A. J. P. 4710 ; which constitutes, according to 
his computation, the true epoch of the nativity^ 




tion ;^ the identical interval which they assigned 
to their ten antediluvian kings, Bnd computed be^- 
tween the creation and deluge, by which they 
conceived the world was destroyed and regenera- 
ted.*® If in conisistency with the previous deduc^^ 
lions, we conceive them acquainted with the pe* 
riod elapsed from the creation, and apprised of 
the time, at which the great consummation would 
be effected ; every diflSculty in the subject admits 
of a simple and adequate solution. They would 
then find it merely necessary to deduct this pe- 
riod of 2230 years, by which they believed a re- 
volution in their monarchy would be effected, 
from the 4000 years, in which the great mundane 


*^ Vid. supr. p. 219.n.*^*. I have already noticed the lunar 
saros, mentioned by Pliny, Nat. Hist. II. xiii. whose text wad 
restored, previously to its establishment by the authority of 
mss. and the earlier editions, by the conjectare of Dr. Hallby, 
who determined the length of this lunar cycle to be 223 months : 
see Phil. Trans, for 1691. p. 537. To, the reigns of their' ear- 
liest monarbhs, the Chaldees ascribed 120 sari, which have been 
computed by this period, though on a false estimation of its 
len^h: vid. supr. p. 230. n.^ss. The just namber of months, 
223, multiplied by 120, gives a product of 26760, which divided 
by 12 gives a quotient of 2230 lunar years ; to find which pe- 
riod, the sum of the fractional numbers 1903 and 327, that are 
bnefore us, cannot surely be deemed accidi^tal. I shall here 
take occasion to reply to a cavil of M. des Vignolies on the 

f massage of Suidas alledged -supr. p. 230. n. ^7^. by which this 
linar cycle is identified as a Chaldee saros : Chronol. Lib. VI. 
ill. p. 625. *^ J' ajoiUte que le mot de Iwndires ((nX^vt^Kbrv) est 
inutile, dams ce passage et ins^r^ malapropos; on par Suidas 
m^me*, ou par quelque autre.". .Not altogether ; asthe author 
is speaking of a Great Year, which ]iad months adapted to its 
length. Servius, observing upon Virgil, after distinguishing 
the different kinds of year, remarks, in like manner, in JBu.III. 
284. — * magnum sol circumvolvitur annum;'. . . .Bene ergo nuno 
'magnum' addidit, ne lunarcm intelligeremus : bene ' solis' no- 
men ne quia ' magnum ' dixerat, ilium planetarium accipercmus." 
^ Vid. supr. p. 171. n.'^Q; 

Kk 2 


restitution would occur ; and the remainder 1770, 
would form the epoch of an empire, which they 
might not irrationally suppose, was constituted to 
continue with the duration of the world.^ On 
this principle, every difficulty in this subject di- 
rectly vanishes; which, when regarded in any 
other light, is wholly inexplicable. 

Under this view, the Chaldee computation of 
the period of the Great Restitution may be resta- 
ted, in a form, still more adapted to their theo- 
retical systems; as calculated to illustrate the 
principles by which they were guided, in vainly 
endeavoring to raise their paternal traditions, of 
the time of the Creation and Regeneration, to the 
dignity of science, while they were really deba- 
sing them to the level of their superstition and 


From the Creation to the Deluge, 120 7 -i ^^ 

solar sari ; 3 ^^ 

From the Deluge to the foundation of > qoa 

theirEmpire; j "^^ 

From the foundation of their Empire, to ) ooqa 

the Great Restitution, 120 lunar sari ; 3 

From the Creation to the Regeneration 4000 

In these arbitrary dates, formed by calculations 
made from both extremes of the great period of 
4000 years, the most remarkable circumstance is 
the transition, which is observable, in the first and 
last epoch, from the solar to the lunar mode of 
computation. And this change is rendered more 

^^ No doubt the divisers of the old and new epochs builduig 
on a different foundation, in the Egyptian Great Year, vid. supr. 
p, 160. p. 238. n.^^. conceived themselves improving upon diis 
antequated doctrine, which they received from their ancestors, 
and possibly which they despised, from finding it among the 




remarkable, as it constitutes the essential differ^^ 
ence between the diflferent principles, on which 
the Samaritan and Septuagint computation of the 
earlier epoch has been accommodated to the Assy- 
rian chronology. The use to which this observa- 
tion may be turned, in fixing the date of a consid- 
erable revolution which took place in the Chaldee 
science, and which fully reconciles the paradox in 
their computations, which brought out accurate 
results, from the most erroneous calculations, it 
is the business of another part of this work to 
unfold. To account for the number 120, which 
was made the term of both the great periods, into 
which they thus distributed the four millenniums, 
it is merely necessary to observe, that it seems to 
have been deduced nrom the tripartite division of 
the great circle, by which the planetary motions 
were measured. At intervals consisting of so 
many degrees, they found those points were dis- 
tant, in which the planets were conjoin 'id, at the 
great conversions of nature ; and which the sun 
reached, in the interval between the conception 
and birth of the human fetus.*^^ For these were 
the analogies, from which they apparently derived 

*w Vid. supr. p. 181. n.*9*. Censorin. de die Nat cap. viii. 
*' Sol ergo cum in proximum signum ascendit locum ilium con- 
ceptionis aut imbecillo videtconspectu, aut etiam non conspicit. 
• • • • Cum autem tit quinto est, tribus inter) acentibus mediis, 
xara rfiytitop adspicit. Nam tertiam signiferi partem visus ille 
metitur, quae duas visiones rilpeiyunhf rpiywoi, perquam efficaces 
incrementum partiu multum adminiculant . • , .Ita, septimo zo- 
dio, quod est contrarium, plenissim^s potentissimusque conspec- 
tus, quosdam jam maturos infantes edudt, qui septemmestres 
adpellantur, quia septimo mense nascuntur. At si intra hoc 
spatium maturescere uterus non potuerit, octavo mense non edi- 
tur. • • .sed vel noito mense yel decimo. Sol enim a nono zodio 
particulam conceptionis rursus conspicit itara rpiyufofy et a deci- 
mo Kar» rtl^ayufof : qui conspectus, ut supra jam dictum est, 
perquam efficaces sunt" 


a coloring of truth, for the vain art, by which they 
pretended not only to calculate the fortunes of 
men, but the destiny of the world ; from observing 
the- planetary aspects, at the time of the nati- 
vity, which they equally assigned them.^" 

To pass from these unimportant, though not in- 
curious observations, to the direct object of our re- 
searches : we cannot fail, in viewing their systems, 
to be struck with the tendency, which, in seeking to 
combine the doctrine of the Great Year with the 
decline and mutation of empires, they manifest to 
the great period of four millenniums.^*^ In pro- 

«" Vid. supr. p. 172. n.»8«. 

"* On the period of 720'000 years, ascribed, by Epigeneis, 
to the Babylonian observations; vid. snpr. p. 209. n. *". it is 
observed by Vigdolles, Chron. VI. iii. § 4. — " 720 miile jours 
^tant divisez par 360 donnent un quotient de 2000 qns jvstes, 
eans aucune fraction. Ce dernier nombre surpasse de pr^s de 
cent and celni de CalHsthene ; et il sera facile de les cfccordey, 
en BUpp6saiit qu'£p!g6ne a v^c^ sons- le III Ptolem^e, surnom-' 
ih6 Everggte, ou le Bienfesant ; c'est k dire environ cent ans 
apr^s Alexandre le Grand." But on the supposition of his being 
contemporary with Berosus, he continues, Ibid. — " prenona 
pOUir n6tre point fixe, commenous avons dejafait, le terns avquel 
Ai&andre le Grand se rendit mOitre de Babylone, c'efit k dire, 
r an de la P. J. 4883. 8i de cette ann6e nous retranchoas l^a 
2000 anSy que nous venous de trouver, nous arriverons, en re- 
montant, au terns de B6lus^ premier roi des Assyriens" &c. On 
the 480'000 years ascribed to their observations by Berosus and 
and Critodemus, supr. p, 210. n.***. VignoUes observes ; after 
reducbg it to 1333 years, 4 mouths ; Ibid. § 5. '' Ce nombre 
n'est pas rond, comme la plupart des pr6c^dans, mais e^est jus- 
tement le tiers de 4000, nombre qu*on pent appeller parfaitement 
Tond • • . • Enfin si nous prenons pour dernier termq de ces 1333' 
ans et un tiers. Tan P. J. 4^92 qui suivit celui de la mort d* 
Alexandre, sous qui Berose fleurissoit ; et que nous en retran- 
chions les 1333 ans ; nous trouverons Tan P. J. 3059, auquel 
la couronne d' Assyrie passu des descendans de Sdmiramis^ k uhe 
seconde famille.^' These observations fall casually from the au- 
thor ; vfhose views tended in a totally different direction, from 
that of the subject which they are now adduced to illustrate : 
comp. supr. p. 175. 


portion as the early traditions, on this subject^ 
which were transmitted from the highest and 
purest source, were deserted, for the speculations 
of a spurious science, the result proved illusory 
and abortive. Such to an extraordinary degree, 
proved the vain attempt, when the foundation of 
the Assyrian empire was laid anew, to fix an epoch 
for measuring its duration in the Great Year, 
which was devised by the Egyptians.*" And 
there is every reason to suspect, that in assigning 
the early monarchy a duration, for the same peri- 
od, the epoch was calculated backwards from the 
time of its dissolution;*^* as the period to which 
the date of the deluge had been put back, in. comr 
pliance with the principles of their science, had 
created a void in their early history, which jt be- 
came necessary to fill up with fabulous reign,s, 
and fictitious monarchs. On casting a glance 
from these remote periods, to the date of the esta- 
blishment of the Macedonian monarchy ; the bro- 
ken number by which the interval is computed, from 
the foundation of the Assyrian, and the subversion 
of the Persian empire, is strikingly contrasted, 
with the round sum of four millenniums, in which 
the various antecedent dates are gathered. 

Though no instance appears, in which they at- 
tained to a fortunate anticipation of the future; 
notwithstanding the ingenuity which they em- 
ployed, in bending and perverting every circum- 
stance, to the purposes of a system; the con- 
nexion which they gave their visionary schemes, 
with the great periods by which they professed to 
compute the restitution, was attended with one 
manifest advantage. They thus applied a gradua- 

^" Vid. supr..p. 160. 

fi* Ibid. p. 238. n,*^, conf. infr. p. 627. nfi^9. 


ted scale to the fugitive course of time, by \^hich 
the degree of its advancement might be estimated, 
and the period of the great consummation readily- 
computed.*^* It was besides wonderfully contri- 
ved, that the imperfect form of year, of which 
their great cycles were constituted, should be not 
only equated, so as to fit it for becoming a just 
measure of time, but by festivals, in which the fall 
and the recovery were preserved in lasting re- 
membrance. But the consideration of this sub- 
ject must be reserved, until the proper opportu- 

^^^ The facility, with which the periods of 120 solar and lunar 
sari might be computed, according to which the great period of 
four milleniums was distributed, is particularly deserving of no- 
tice. The solar saros, as composed of 12 years of 12 months 
each, consisted of 144 months; and the lunar saros was, by com- 
putation, 223 months: by any species of decimal notation, these 
sums might be raised by the simple process of numeration, to 
the great periods 1440 years, and 2230 years. In the Syriac 
mode of expressing numbers, it is effected simply by puttmg 
a point over the character : in the European, by merely adding 
a cypher. This consideration will satisfy the requisitions of 
those who may think the Chaldee saros derived its name from 
the numeral «mv . rather than ;Vf« . I must however still de- 
clare my sentence, in favor of the latter derivation, and the 
duodecimal value, as conveying the true sense of the term, from 
the prevalence of this number in all their periods. The solar 
year consisted of 12 months ; the great solar year, of 12 years ; 
the great lunar year, of 12 years, and its half; the great cycle 
of 72 years, of six times 12 years, t. e, the great solar year. It 
is even deserving of note, that the additwii of the Chaldee great 
year, 12 years^ which might be added in an intercalation, raises 
the pioper period of 120 sari, or 2230 years used by the Chal- 
dees, to the peiiod of 2242 years, adopted by the Septuagint 
in computing the sum of the lives of the ten patriarchs prece- 
ding the deluge ; this sum, however it was obtained, being 
without doubt considered necessary to equate the lunar com- 
putation to the solar, vid. supr. p. 231. n.^^Q. A like excess^ 
ofajsabbaticalyear, probably added with the same object, is 
found appended to the Samaritan computation of the samerpe-- 
riod. vid. supr. p. 234. 


OF A aBEAT z)i:uvi^HJg:R. 257 

nity arriTes, for ^sonssmg the great periods em^ 
ployed by the Egyptians, ia computing the inter- 
val which engages our attention,^ to which they 
ascribed the same date as the Chaldees/*^ In 
confirmatioa of the assertion, which is now ha* 
zarded on the anniversaries, employed by thet 
^Babylonians in equating their time ; I have only 
to refer to the Sachean cfeys, of which. I have spo^ 
ken, as mtrpduced into the East by the Egyp^^ 
tians,^^ from whose institutions they he9.r internal 
marks of having descended. As this festival, of 
i?vhieh I have had occasion to speak, as instituted 
ia commemoration of the fall and recovery,^^® con- 
sijgited of five days, observed at the close of the 
g^ncient year of 360 days ; it thus served the purpo- 
ses of an intercalation, as keeping the beginning of 
the civil year, near the time of the equinox:, from 
which there can be no doubt its commencement 


was computed. Of this festival, it bias been justly 
observed, that it is. referred in the Assyrian annals, 
to the earliest date of the monarehy. In perfect 
consistency with the principles on which its be- 
ginning was carried back, to complete the period 
of an Egyptian Great Year,^^^ they antedated the 
festival which was necessary to its. just computa- 
tion f^ had not this precaution been taken, the 

516 Yid.supr. pu 219. n.*^. ^^^^ Vid. supr. p. 144. 
M Ib^ p, 145, 519 Vid. supr. p. 238. n. ♦9*1 

^^ la this considegcajtipn, the objection of the learned SeMeti 
to the iBsiitMtion. of this fegttival by Sesach, wholly vanishes: 
he observes; De. Dls. Syr. II. xiii. p. 340. •* Quae ad SesacH 
BOH. possu^t refer d» .quippe quod C^ro antiquius est nomen in 
^jQf 19. Uteris. Yer^u(n ex Assyriorum seu Babyloniornm an- 
liquissums. ritU)us origipem Sacajorum dierum et Gyro longe 
'vetustion^m peVendam esse» ipsis Beroso et Ctesia antoribus, 
mibi e^jt pecsuA^i^iaQMi^i* Inde coHigo, quod non modo Btroin^ 
libra pvimQf ubi.scilioet de reconditissimis Bahyloniorum moni*- 

L 1 


adoption of the new epoch would have been use-' 
less or nugatory. As the Chaldees, in putting, 
back the epoch of their empire, carried it beyond 
the deluge ;^^ consequently, no doubt can be 
raised, that the equable year was employed by 
them in computing the whole of the time, from 
that great catastrophe, to the end of the new era, 
dated from the accession of Nabonasar. Respec-. 
ting the antecedent period, extending back to the 
creation, no question can be reasonably moved ; 
as it has been proved, to a demonstration, that 
not only the solar and civil year then coincided, 
but that they agreed with the lunar also f^ so that 


meniis egit, eos cottocasset, sed etiam Ctesias diu aotequam ad 
Cyri imperium aut res Persicas devenerat, inter Babyloniacas 
et Assyriacas enumerasset. Ex hujus enini quinto citatar quod 
habet Aihenaeas. Ceteram nihil de Gyro ille, nihil de Sacis, 
de Persis nihil, in prioribus sex libris scripsit, sed tantummodo 
ea quae Persicum imperium praecesserunt. ..Liquido mihi hinc 
constare videtur, Y.aM.l»<i yifM^aq et Saxaut Gyro multis seculis, si 
fides hisce scriptoribus vetustiora." It is indisputable, however, 
that the reduction of the ancient oriental Saturnalia of seven 
days vid. Lucian. supr. p. 133. n.'^^. to five, and the affixing 
of them, as appendages, to the end of the year, originated wit£ 
the Egyptians, long subsequently to the foundation of the As* 
Syrian monarchy : vid. Allin, uti supr. p. 242. n.^. VignoU 
de rAn.-'Anc. p. 667. The argument of Selden, of conse- 
quence, striking wide of its aim, contains an extraordinary con- 
firmation of the assumption, that this people not only put back 
the epoch of their empire, but sought to accommodate the period 
of its duration to the Great Year of the Egyptians : vid. supr. 
p. 238. n. 494. For this period could be only calculated by 
that form of year, which had those five days appended to it, that 
were observed in the Sesachean festival : vid. infr. n. ^ 

fi«i Vid. supr. p. 237. n.W. conf. supr. n.«i9. 

5SS 7[7ie following is the Hypothesis laid down, and I think 
demonstrated in Mr. AUin's very able discussion : Whiston. 
Theor. B. II. p. 144. " First, I shall endeavor to prove, that 
the most ancient year, in civil use, almost throughout the 
world, for several ages after the deluge, contained exactly 360 
days, or 12 months of 30 days apiece. Secondly, that iefore 


l3Ut one form of year, and that perfect and equa- 
ble, could have been employed in computing that 
primeval period. 

To persons occupied in casting nativities and 
prognosticating future events, some expedient for 
accommodating the time to the incident, if the 
incident would not accommodate itself to the 
time, was not only convenient but necessary. 
With abundant facilities of this description, thfe 
predictor appears to have been supplied in the 
Chaldean methods of equating and computing. 
By legitimate mutations of names and numbers, 
any given period might be thus converted into 
another ; and the accomplishment of a prediction, 
as suited the interest or credit of the calculator, 
be either hastened to an hour, or protracted for 
ages. It was even possible to make any species 
of year, the basis of the computation ; and by a 
simple contrivance, then convert the lunar into the 
solar, or the moveable into the equated.**^ We ?ire 

the deluge^ not only the civiLyear, but also the tropical solar 
year^ wherein the sun passes through the ecliptic to the same 
point from whence it began ; and likewise the lunar year, con- 
sisting of 12 synodical months, each from new-moon to new- 
moon, or from full-moon, to full-moon, toere severally just 260 
days Umg, and consequently that the lunar month was exactly 
30 days." I must, however observe, that the antecedent propo< 
sition can be only admitted with limitations ; this learned wri- 
ter,^ as well as M. des VignoUes, having produced abundant 
evidence, that the ancient and the equable year were perfectly 
compatible, in the use ; the former having been retained in 
computing, when the latter was applied to civil purposes ; vid; 
supr. p. 246. n. ^^^. In fact, the views of neither of these wri-> 
ters embraced the festivals, by which it is clear to me, the be- 
ginning of the year was kept near the equinoxes ; though the 
days thus added to it, were without civil effect; vid. supr. p« 
133. n.300. 

^' The Sosos and Neros, two Chaldee measures of time, ap. 
Syncel. Chron. p. 17. were apparently contrived for the purpo« 

l1 2 : 


not therefore, to foel surprised, that a like ambi^ 
guity should hare introduced itself into the oalt 
culation which is before us ; and that th^ o^n* 
plement of 22S0 years, in lW four millenniums, 
abottld be expres^ by a l«mar cyele» while ttie 
dommencement of the period is computed by a so* 
lar : nor are we, in consequeisce of this transitiaa^ 
to conceive the validity of the consequences de^^ 
du^ed from such principles uncertain and erro^ 
neous* If, in the broken number of 1903 years^ 
which the Chaldees gave np to Callisthenes, with 
an implied remainder of 327 years> this ambiguity 
did not disappear ; the sum of 4000 years, being 
rec(^ised as the period of the restitution, the por 
pular sense would determine the signification in 
which it was to be received, Against ^e capricious 
and arbitrary sentence of the theorist and compu- 

Such was tiie character of the Chaldean astrolor 
gy. And but one method seemd to have remainedi 
by which a system, that exercised so tyrannous and 
debasing an infiuence over the hiimto mind, could 
be defeated; v^hich aimed at Subjecting the freedton 
of man to a blind fatality, and submitting the 

Erovidence of God, to the laws which he proserin 
ed to matter and motion. And in that merciful 
condescension, which left no means unapplied, 
that were calculated to operate for the benefit of 

ies t>f thus reducing the civil and equinoctial year> to the com- 
puted and astroBCMmcal, or contrariwise. Thus we Snd the Sa- 
rov, consisting of 4320 days, or 12 ancient years, atdnce raisecl 
by the Sq$9», containing 6<7 days or 2 months, to 12 equable 
or Egyptian years, containing 4380 days. And in like man^ 
oer, the.p^ipd of 10 Sari of the ancient year, consisting of 
43200' days, was at once raised by the Neivs, which contained 
10 Sosi, or 600 days, to 10 Sari of the Egyptian year, consis- 
ting of 43800 days ; which changes were probably effected, bj 
pointing the character. 

^;;gn^^i£,tgg[^L-^ J 


a t^6h, vMch %mployed the freedom with tidiich 
they were endowed, but in frustFating or abustiig 
the divine dispensations, this expedient Was wiseiy 
a&d graciously adopted. The great agent> in lim 
degrading superstition having been the sii&, by 
whose Influence the cdicrse of niitufe was govem»- 
ed, and by whose motions it wtas <iotoput0d ;*** a 
visible controul exercised over his functions, served 
atonce to vindicate the superintending piiOvkleoce 
of Grod, and to refute in principle, the derogfatory 
system opposed to his supremacy, and to baffle it 
in the^pphcation. And this object was in an e$c>- 
traordinary manner accomplished, by the gre^t 
public miracles, which distinguished the ^ttleiA^nt 
of the chosen people, in their promised inheritaiice, 
and their removal from it, into captivity. At the 
first of these remarkable periods,^ " the stm " 
was commanded to '' stand still, and the mooh in 
the valley of Ajalon,.. .and the snn stood still, in 
the taiidst of hi^aven, and hasted not to go down, 
about a whole day . . .for the Lord heaitened untxj 
the voice of a man." And at the last,'*® ** Isaiah 
the prophet cried unto the Lord ; and he brought 
the shadow " of the sun, " ten degrees backward^ 
by which it had gone doWn in the dial of Ahai." 
Nor does the time chosen for this display of om- 
nipotent pow^, derive its character of fitness, 
more from its connexion with tile circumstances 
of sacred than profane history. Thb miraculous 
suspension of th6 celestial mechanisiii, tihdet 
Joshua, was not more remarkable for its accom- 

rying the establishment of the Hebrew Repub- 
in Ganaah, than the subversion of the Con- 
federacy of idolatrous princes, to Which that 

««* Vid. supr. p. Ids. n. *«^ et seq. 

SiS Josh, X. 12, 13, 14. ^26 2 King, xx. 11. Is. xxxviii. 8. 


country was subject.^ And the inveiisian oi 
the solar motions, under Hezekiah, is even le^s dis- 
tinguished by its association with the deportation 
and captivity of the Jews, than with the extinc-; 
tion of the splendor of the Assyrian nation, in the. 
destruction of her last vainglorious monarch/^ 
Nor is the time more striking, which demanded 
this extraordinary display of divine power, than 
the particular occasions in which it was exerted. 
It was a part of the vain science, which called 
for a refutation, thus public and signal, not only 
to predict the fate of empires, but to foretell the 
destiny of mimarchs. Such was its predominance, 
that without consulting the seer who could read 
in the stars the character of every event, whethei; 
it would prove favorable or adverse, no public 
measure was enterprised, nor private affair un- 
dertaken. Not to insist further on the suitable- 
ness of the occasion, for suspending the course, or 
reversing the order of nature, when a great national 
revolution was effected, in the states of Canaan, 
and empire of Assyria ; every imagination must 
be struck with the fitness and propriety of the 
crisis chosen for recovering the Jewish monarch, 
and prolonging his life, beyond the destiny, which 

W Vid. Josh. V. 1. ix. 1. x. 1. 

^^ St. Jerome, following Eusebius, remarks upon this sub- 
ject ; Comment in Is. xxxix. ** Supra legimus quartodecima 
anno regis EzeekuB ascendisse Sennacherib regem Assyriorum 
super omnes civitates Judae munitas : et cepisse eas, et postea 
obsedisse Lachis, transisse Lobnam, misisse Hierusalem partem 
exercitus sui : ceesaque 'per angelum centum octoginttiquinque 
miUia exercitus ejus, et ij^um fugisse Nineven interfeetumgne 
ajiliis in fano Dei sui, et regnasse pro eo Asaraddon filium 
ejus ; agrotasse Ezechiam, et recepisse prophetae nuncio sospi^ 
tatem ; factum signum incredHnle ui sol decern horarum spaciis 
revertereter hd ortum suum, et pene duplex dies fieret." Conf, 
Euseb. Com. in Hes. xxxix. p. 606. via. supr. p. 160. tT:^, 


was supposed to be fixed at his nativity. On the 
ethnics, it accordingly appears, that this miracle 
was not without its effect; for^ "the princes of 
Babylon sent unto him to inquire of the wonder 
that was done in the land :" having no knowledge 
of the cause, however accurate observers they had 
been of the effects, which had been wrought in 
their science.*^® Nor is the observation either in- 
curious in itself, or irrelevant from the subject of 
this inquiry, that there is reason to believe, the 
monarch, by whom this investigation was niade, 
into the cause of the sun's retrocession, was num- 
bered among those personages, in whom the ex- 
pectation of a promised Deliverer was thought to 
be Accomplished : as we find his name enrolled, 

*«d 2 Chron. xxxii. 31. comp. Is. xxix. 1. 
' 530 gi;, Jerome, in continuation of the observation in the pre- 
ceding note, adds ; Ibid. '' Nunc legimus, quod in tempore illo, 
hoc est eodem anno, quo haec gesta sunt omnia, miseret Mero- 
dach Baladan, filius Baladan rex Babyloniae, libros et munera 
ad Ezechiam, non Asaraddon, qui Sennacherib patri apud As- 
syrios in regnum successerat ; de cujus sen morte seu vita scrip- 
tura conticuit. Ex quo perspicuum est aliud fuisse tunc reg- 
num Assyriorum, et aliud Babyloniorum. Denique Samariam, 
id est, decern trUnu cepere Assyrii. Judam autem et Jemsalem 
postea legimus cepisse Chaldseos, quorum rex Nel^uchadonosor 
fuit. Et quia apud eos astrorum observantia est, stellarumque 
curnu longo usu et exercitatume cognitus, quod in Domini nati- 
vitate monstratur, intellexerunt sohm reversum, diei spacia du- 
plicata, servire ei quem solum Deum putabant. Cumque causag 
hujus miraeuli, rationemque perquirerent ; fama per omnes gentes 
volitante, didicerunt propter nBgratationem regis Judae, etiam 
cursum signi clarisnmi commutatum." To the same purpose, 
Eusebius, citing the authority of a Ji«iv. Ibid, fxh yitq XaSetyrSra 

[rh QofAMv] rovi BeiQv}Mvitiq, ^nthq Mat urs^t rhv ruv arpuv ^ntfpiecv^ 

mwiaa ^vtaiAtui' rnro x^^* S*o' fiiI5f^a» to tbt» OiXoirTif cttlhou' tlr' 
fvii^q voKvw^ayfMvia-nplii tyvuv r^y ruv EP^aiav Qio» lAtyeiP slven, to» 
«; r5 wttvloq Koafi^ ^iifAHifyov m • • »ravTa fAv o "Ep^ctTo^, 


by the iDfatuated spirit of the age in which he 
lived, amoDg the titles of the aatioaal deities.^ 

If I have not wholly fstiled, in the preeedinr 
induction, it may be now summarily conclude^ 
that the Assyrians, who had derived trom prophe-* 
tical sources, the expectation of a Grreat Deliver- 
er, had attained a perfect knowledge, that the 
time of his advent was fixed at the close of tlie 
fourth millennium from the creation,"^ at which our 

991 As ik.i9 obtervable, that the prppbejcy of BaJhMim wa» 
canriecl.partL^ly'iato effect, when Merodach wa3 king or Yiceroy- 
of Babylon ; it is curious to remark, that the name of this 
prince, as well as that of Sesac, is ascribed to one of the Ba- 
bylonian idob, and equally joined with Bel, their chief natkuiftl 
god, by the^pcophefc Jevemifih; ch. 1. v. 2. ** say. Babjflon is t^^ 
ken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces ;" €M>mp. 
Jer. li. 44. uti supr. p. 141. The reader, who reverts to the 
custom. of the Orientalists, noticed supr. p. 159. b«^. may-de- 
temune for himself, how far rt is probable this coincidence of 
circumstances may account for the introdnotioB 9A this Apodi' 
of a new god, among the Babylonian idols. It t» atleast d^ 
vious, that whatever circumstances conspired to advance Se« 
sac among the national divinities migl)^ have cont ribnt e d to- 
ehroH Merodach in the number. In fevor-of the- origin wlii^ 
is here ascribed to the Babylonian deity, it remains to beobtof^ 
red, that he appears to have attained to divine honoro betvpsen* 
the times of Isaiah and Jheremiah^ as he is solely noti<eed» by lb» 
latter : and that the prince to whom his title has been tFtoed, 
cajne to the throne, at that remarkable period; 

^^ Such precisely is the period, as computed by>the8enes o^ 
the Hebrew chronology, at which the Creation is placed fran» 
the Nativity, by the highest chronological autlhMrities : aocKMr- 
ding to Kepler,, Ussher, Cappel, &o. ^e epoch of the vrorld is* 
feed, A. J. P.*710. B. C. 4004; of course, allowing fep the 
error in the vulgar era, before die nativity 4000 yea»^ A 
brief view of the historical^computation may be seen in Wh&i- 
ton, Theor. B. IL p. 142. Kepler, who was one of theeadiesi 
and most successful vindicators of ike true epoch declares^ 
T^b. Rud. cap. viii. p. 51. ^' Ann. 4000 ante Chrifltaai..fiM^. 
dks est (Btatis mundaiuB, apud plerosque chronc^^phoram ho- 
diernorum: assequiturque situm aliqtiem planetarum, in s«i^ 
eccentricis, co/nsentaneum initio rerum, nuUi aliiper, plurima 


Lord made his appearance on earth. Much of 
the information which they retained on the sub- 
ject, was professedly derived from their great pro- 
genitor, and coeval with the foundation of the 
first eastern monarchy/** But the ancient tradi- 

saecula deioceps, comparanda." In the table which he sub* 
joins, of the main longitude of the planets, their apogee and 
nodes, at this remarkable epoch, he identifies, the place of the 
apogee with the vernal equinoctial point : a similar remark has 
been made of M. la Place, by the learned and ingenious pre- 
late, who now adorns the See of Dublin. A like argument, 
has been also adduced, from the place of the perihelion, at the 
time of the deluge, in favor of the epoch assigned that great 
catastrophe of the old world, in the Hebrew chronology, by 
Whiston, Ibid. B. II. hyp. xi. 3. p. 201. comp. p» 129. 
- ^^ It may not be inexpeiient to explain here, that although it 
19 necessary for the purposes of calculation, to assign a fixed 
date to the Dispersion^ the great crisis of which took place, 
when the tower of Babel was destroyed, with the foundation 
of which, I would identify that of the city of Babylon ; I am 
decidedly of opinion, the event of dispersing the inhabitants of 
Shinar was carried into effect not instantaneoysly or promis* 
cuously, but in a gradual and orderly manner ; the daring and en- 
terprising organisers of the apostacy were probably driven from 
the scene of their impiety, but the patriarchal femilies retiring, 
as they required space, to the countries which they were res- 
pectively alotted, a^d which lay contiguous to the place of 
their first settlement after the deluge. This view of the subject 
I conceive to be not only that which consists best with the 
reason of the case, but with the purport of the sacred narrative ; 
Gen. X. 5—32. An absurd preconception of the necessity of 
assembtiiig a population fit for the occupation of th^ globe in 
the plains of Shinar, has led some chronologists into calcula- 
tions, no doubt, as amusing to themselves, as to some of their rea- 
ders, of the probable increase of mankind in this period of pri- 
meval fecundity. It maybe well conceived, the dull progress of 
ike historian is little calculated to keep pace ^ith the rapid 
fldvances of the computer ; and thus, as the sacred chronology 
affords no time for the production^of the ideal multitudes, 
9Rhieh he creates at pleasure, be votes the original text system- 
atically corrupt, ana supercedes or mends it from a bye edition 
or a translation. It is ia vain to inquire of 9uch spepuIaAtets* 
what may be the value of an instrument, of which it appears, 

M m 


tions which they inherited, were originally ob- 
scure, and impaired by oral transmission. It 
was through Abraham, the promise was given,*** 
"that in Isaac, his seed should be called ; that in 
his seed all the nations of the earth should be bles- 
sed :" and it seems difficult to conceive, in what 
sense, the terms of it could be fulfilled to the con- 
temporary nations, if they were wholly excluded 
from the privileges to which the father of the 
faithful was admitted. And from the whole of 
the preceding observations, it appears that from 
his immediate posterity, the oriental population^ 
chiefly derived the knowledge and expecta- 
tion which they possessed of a Deliverer. In the 
prophecy of Jacob, the advent of the Divine Per- 
sonage was not only foretold: but it was de- 
clared, that*** " he would be the expectation of the 
nations." The popular superstitions of the Assy- 
rians bore but too faithful testimony, that from a 
knowledge of this prediction, the great national 
deity derived his imaginary existence, and his ti- 
tle.*^ And as far as the views opened into futu- 
rity, by Balaam's prophecy, embraced the same 
subject, and proclaimed the advent of the expect- 
ed Personage, it was merely a republication of 
Jacob's prediction.*''^ Nor did the knowledge, to 
which those nations were thus graciously admit- 
ted, consist in vague intimations of some distant 
good, under a future and common benefactor. If 
we even suppose it confined to that solitary pre- 

that all its dates are systematically corrupted. We may how- 
ever, in respect for their own consistency, require of them to 
gratify us with the solution of one difficulty, and inform us, 
when they have thus assembled the population of the globe, by 
what process of calculation, they are provided with room to 
contain them, not to speak of the means of subsistence. 

^** Gen. xxi. 12. xxii. 18. "* Vid. supr. p. 110. 

«« Vid. supr. p. 108. 111. w Ibid. p. 118. 

-^•■t * I I-— 1-r- 


diction ; the course was thus opened, and the way 
pointed out, which, if followed up, would eventu- 
ally lead the inquirer to a higher measure of infor- 
mation. As this prophecy of Jacob, in declaring 
that *^ " a lawgiver should not cease in Judah,^ 
proclaimed the perpetuity of a line of expositors, 
among the Hebrews ; it thus apprised the nations 
who were desirous of being informed, whither 
they were to apply for instruction. By the later 
prediction of Balaam, they were not merely di- 
rected to the proper object of divine worship, but 
warned against a criminal devotion to the na- 
tional superstitions, in hearing the judgments de- 
nounced against the national idols.^^ The patri- 
arch, in declaring the perpetuity of the sceptre, 
in the tribe of Judah, until the Great Deliverer 
should come ;^ and the prophet in denouncing the 
instability of the monarchies, in which the sove- 
reignty of the east would descend ;^* equally con- 
tributed to direct the attention of the oriental popu- 
lation, to the Divine Person, who was the proper 
object of the general expectation. While the 
knowledge of the Redeemer was thus conveyed 
exclusively through prophecy ; the Assyrians were 
admitted to the privileges of receiving it, at a pe- 
riod not less early than it was imparted to the 
Hebrews. The prophecy of Jacob was delivered 
to his sons, when, confined to a few families, they 
were aliens and vassals in Egypt ; when tliey had 
grown into a nation, and left that country, to take 
possession of Palestine, it, was republished in the 
prediction of Balaam, in a form, adapted to the 
views and prepossessions o^the nations. 

Thus even through the darkness of age, and the 

«M Ibid. p. 109. 113. ^39 Vid. supr. p. 96. seq. 

«*o Ibid. p. 109. 541 Ibid. p. 68. seq. 

M m 2 


clouds of superstition, some glimmerings of the 
truth remained, and by occasional radiations, gave 
evidence of its original. Thus amid the grossness 
of their errors, the Assyrians bore witness, in the 
Expectations which they formed of a Great Delive- 

the pure worship which the patriarchal family were 
instrumental in disseminating through the eastern 
continent, the Bethulia, formed after the model of 
the pillar raised and anointed by Jacob, were 
signal and lasting monuments. But so ancient 
and seductive was the prevailing superstition to 
which it was opposed, and which referred its ori- 
gin to the antediluvian world,^^ that there is every 

^ Seld. de Dis. Syr. Froleg. p. 45. « Quin si Eaochi A* 
pocrypha in testium classem admitteremus, dsemonionim cultam 
etiam kna^ ante diluviMm non immeritd assereremus. Id apoc- 
ryphis illis narratur, 17^70^8$, id est, angelos seu dcemonia, lee- 
ttsHmtts foeminas sibi in uxores junxissBf atque ab eis quam plu- 
rima humanum genus, conciliante muliercularum libidine, bene- 
£cia accepisse, artes item didicis$€, . • • • Commentum illud de 
Angelis ex historia de filiis Dei in sexto Genesis capite mal^ 
intellecta ortum est, et veteres aliquot magni nominis fefellit. 
Sed melius et verisimilius est, quod alii de Sethi JiUis affenint, 
qui Caini posterorumque ejus Jilios hominum filios ibi vocari 
tradunt. Quod de ea re habent Cedrenus et Chronici Alex* 
drini autor, consulas, si placet, lector. Illis assentit pervestus^ 

• • codex ArabicuB ms. in quo narratur Sethi familias posteroa- 
que montis occupasse cacumen in quo Adam sepuUus est; 
Caini, vallem in qua Abel ad eo occisus. Posteros item Setbi^ 
ob easdem, qute Cedreno ex AtTrroyuicu memorantary ratiooes, 
filios Dei dictos, et ob Abelem adeo Caino infensos ej usque ne- 
potibus, ut solemni se juramento obstringerent per sanguinem 

Abelis, ,i»VA^fl^ ^<>^ [ita enim se verba habent] in Talem se 

nequaquam seu (jM<Xi(]t ^\j>>H ^ k monte sacro descensuro$. 

• • Cetemm et idolorum cultores ex Enochi scriptis, ita dictis, 
tradit Tertullianus libro de Idololatria capite quarto, neque re- 
centiora idololatriae initia facit. Enochus autem in teriis desiit 
esse circa 700 annos ante diluvium.* Etiam ipsa idolorum no- 
mina^ qu4B ante diluvium cuUa, eaque satis portentosa, habes 



reason to believe, it was soon trndistrnguishably 
involved in the mass of general and inveterate error. 
In the age immediately preceding the birth 
of the great patriarch, this superstition was re- 
vived,**^ which unfortunately recommended itself 
by stronger attractions, than those which arose 
from the sense of its remote antiquity. In the 
short period intervening between the descent of 
Jacob into Egypt, and the emancipation of his 
immediate posterity from their bondage, the mo- 
numents which he had raised and dedicated to 
religious purposes, were perverted to the grossest 
idolatry. From having been long viewed with ve^ 
neration, they were atlength regarded with super- 
stition, and finally became objects of religious 
worship. Nor is it wonderful, when the peculiar 

Apad Alcorani autorem Azoara 81..: Quid nbi porro relint 
liaec, viderint qui operae pretium fore duxerint. Adde Flavii 
Joseph! libri primi caput ir. ubi alienum cultum homines in- 
yasisse diu ante Noachum innuit, dum usque ad septem genera* 
tiones eos Deum Opt. Max. ^t(rv6r%9 iTyat taIv oXut sensisse ; dein- 
ceps vero ix rSv mar^ioav l^to'fAoiir degenerAsse seribit. 

^^ Seld. uti supr. p. 47. ** Post diluvium autem (ut obvia 
sunt apud Eusebium in Fneparatione EvaogeUca, Clemeotem, 
Theodoretum, Epiphanium, sexcentos alios, teatuBonla) redin- 
tegrata est tdohUttria^ Shenichi et Tkiarm secuh, Addimos, 
autem quod de ea re habet Said, quern dtximus, Aben-^Batrich. 
* In immensum/ ait llle, ^ Seracki fevo ^i^niiithomiiiesy et inira- 
Init Idololatria, et immolabftnt^Uos sues et £tias suas Deeuio* 
niis. Immisit Deus in iilos ventum prooelteeam ; et ftdt I)fpkeii 

L^li^] ventus. £t confregit ventus idola omnia et -dfamit Tem- 

pla IdolorumusquedumintumulospulYeris redacta fuerint: et 
isanuU iUi etiamnum remanent' Certd subversam esse im^ 
manem illam substructionem^ quam turrim vocant Babylonicam ; 
^procelbram yi, legiUirafind Josephiw lib. I. c. v. Eusebium de 
PaeparatioBe Eraagelicay 1. IX. c. iy. Cedrenum : etin Sibylli- 
nomm oraeuloram tertio.,.Atqiii ab eodem san^ seculo^ quo 
dtruta turns iila, et liogutt eonrasee suat^ Phalegi scilicet eevo, 
Orsecorum numina petunt nonmiUi/' 


character of the superstition is considered, of 
which they now became a part, that the corrupted 
religion, which arose from this mixture of false- 
hood and error, should have taken the form which 
it assumed among the Moabites, in the age of 
Balak and Balaam. The prophecy of Jacob ha- 
ving been associated with the monuments which 
were raised in the scenfe of his religious wor- 
ship ; in the misconception incident to tradition, 
and the error propagated by superstition, those 
confused notions arose with the process of time, 
in which the description of the prophecy was 
transferred in emblems to the idol.^ In the an- 
tediluvian superstition, for which the nations re- 
tained a hereditary prejudice, a perfect remem- 
brance was preserved of the fall, and some inti- 
mation given of the recovery. However perverse 
and fatal the error which ensued, it was not un-. 
natural, that the new revelation should be interr 
preted by the ancient tradition ; and the promise 

*^ Vid. supr. p. Ill, The probability of the course which 
IS thus pointed out, derives not merely illustration by authority, 
from the following remark of the learned person, from whose 
treasures I have drawn so copiously, in unravelling the per- 
plexities of this obscure and intricate subject. Seld. uti supr. 
p. 33. " In Hasmonaeorum libro cap. iii. comm. 48. editioni- 
bus, Romana, Drusiana, atque aliis ita legitur ; xat t^i'aCloLaav 

TO CtjSXtoy Ttf vofAii tercet Zv iit^svpu¥ t» t^vrt ra ofMtufji,ara ruv bI^uXuv 

avruv. De Judaeis verba sunt, quicum Juda Machabaeo, post 
nefandam Antiochi Epiphanis in Sacra Hierosolymitana ra- 
biem, ad cultum veri Dei instaurandum in Mispach convenerant; 
fort^ aut1a Qh^xia ; aut m^) » potius legendum. Sed de ea re 
non disputamus ; Gentes inquit scriptor ille, de libro hgis scru- 
tabantur effigies idohrum suorum, haut satis capio ; nisi tunc 
temporis idola sua non si^e norma aliqua e sacris Uteris de- 
pramptaformari vohuerint, Yerum in Hispancia editione aii- 
ter se verba ilia habent : Scilicet l^i^ivvejv ra t^m^ » Iviy^^uf Iqr* 
avruv ret, ofAOiufAecra, &c, et in plerisque Codd. Vett. ita legi ad<- 
notatur in ora editionis Bomanas. 



of a restitution having been understood in the 
most literal sense, that it should be expected the 
common parent of mankind would be the res- 
torer of the happiness which had been enjoyed 
and forfeited in Eden. In the opposition which 
the antediluvian history presented between the 
state of innocence and of guilt, the propensities 
entailed by the fall unfortunately decided the re- 
vivers of the old superstition to make a bad 
election between good and evil. The licentious 
character which the superstition assumed, drew 
every thing within the circle of its seducements ; 
and as the patriarch's imagery had been pervert- 
ed, the divine object of his prophecy was con- 
founded with the first victim of sin, whom they 
had degraded to the level of their own vileness 
and debasement.^ 

Such was the depraved state to which this su- 
perstition had sunk in the age of Moses and Ba- 
laam ; and though grossly degenerated from its first 
. state, the marks of its patriarchal original were 
even at this time not wholly obliteratied. In the 
summons which Balaam received from Balak, he is 
required "to curse Jacob, and defy Israel:" and 
in the benediction which the seer of Pethor con- 
sequently utters, the prophecy of the patriarch is 
expressly quoted. Thus indeed was the occasion 
presented to the Mesopotamian Diviner to pro- 


^^ Instances of such confusion in this vile superstition have 
been already frequently pointed out; vid. supr. p. 90. 94. 
Amid this confusion and error, some intimations were preser- 
ved of the opposition which was marked between the state of 
innocence and of sin, and still mor^ strongly in the fall and re- 
covery. As the West had its Priapus and Saturn, the East 
had its Feor and Chemosh ; this last title is thus derived by 
Leusden, Fhilol. Hebr. Mist. XIV. p. 311. '' Alii a tt^»3 ab- 
scandidit, unde tt^i»3, h, e. Saturnus, abstxmditus" conf. supr. 
p. 137. et n. 


elaim the advent of the Expected Deliverer^ as the 
imagery was suggested in which he delivers his 
prediction ; the idols against which he denounces 
judgment^ having assumed the emblematical cha^ 
raeters, and usurped the divine honors of the Per- 
sonage whose advent was predicted by Jacob. 
Prom the error and the depravity of this deba- 
sing superstition, the Hebrew was by birthright 
exempt : for to him " the oracles of God virere 
committed/' And in them he learned, that '^ Bel 
should bow down, and Nebo be prostrated :" that 
*^ the nations should not flow ^oiy more unto him, 
but the wall of Babylon should fall, and judgment 
be done upon the graven images of Babylon." 
He was there taught, that the affairs of this lovner 
world, were not bound up by a law of necessity, 
and dependent on the celestial influences; but 
ruled by the superintending providence of God ; 
for there he read, that '' the Lord hearkened to the 
voice of a man, and the sun stood still, and liie 
moon in the valley of Ajalcm ;" that ** the prophet 
cried unto the Lord, and he bisought the shadow 
of the sun ten degrees backward^*' In refutatioa 
of the ethnic doctrine, that by purgations of flre 
and water, the world would he perpetually des- 
troyed and renovated ; he was assured, that there 
should not be ** any more a flood to destroy the 
earth." Compared to these and the other glori- 
ous privileges of the Hebrew, the light imparted 
to the Gentiles was darkness ; still it was suffi- 
cient to vindicate the ways of God, and leave man 
witibomt excuse. 


An INQUIRY into the INTEGRITY of the 
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tament ; in wbich the Greek Manuscripts are newly classed, 
the integrity of the Received Text vindicated, and the Various 
Readings traced to their origin. 8vo. 

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trated and confirmed by Scriptural Authorities ; in a Series of 
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dressed to the Rev. Reginald Heber, A. M. &c. 

WITH THE BIBLE SOCIETY, including a Reply to the 
Arguments ui favor of that Association. 

A R£Y to M Volney s Ruins, or the Revolutkms of Em- 
fmea; bf a Reformer. 

REMARKS on a Passage in Eusebius's History, commu- 
nicated by M. Calbo to the Rev. F. Nolan, with a POST- 
SCRIPT, m Reply to the Rev. T. Falconer's Case of Euse- 
bius examined. 

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A PENNY POSTSCRIPT, exhibiting the competence 
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that a GREAT DELIVERER would appear, about the 
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